Roaring Fork Rams corral Gunnison Cowboys for a pair of basketball wins |

Roaring Fork Rams corral Gunnison Cowboys for a pair of basketball wins

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent
Roaring Fork junior River Byrne turns the corner in earlier action against the Basalt Longhorns on Jan. 21, 2022, in Carbondale.
John Stroud/Post Independent

The Roaring Fork High School girls and boys basketball teams pulled off a sweep of the visiting Gunnison Cowboys on Saturday afternoon in Carbondale.

The Lady Rams took care of business in the 3A Western Slope League game by coasting to a 47-20 win, and the boys used a big third quarter scoring run to hold on for the 47-40 conference win.

Senior post player Macey Peery got the scoring going quickly for the Roaring Fork girls with a basket in the paint. That score was followed up by baskets off steals from freshman Erica Crownhart, senior Sienna Pargiter-Walker and junior Leah Shafer to help get the Rams out of the starting gate in a hurry.

Roaring Fork held Gunnison scoreless in the first quarter, taking an 8-0 advantage at the end of the frame. Freshman Carley Crownhart hit one of her three 3-pointers on the night in the second quarter, and junior guard Katie Grijalva scored on a drive to the basket as the Roaring Fork lead grew to 21-0 with 4:04 remaining in the first half.

A 26-1 halftime lead and an advantage of 38-9 at the end of the third period allowed the Rams to get the entire bench into the game to close things out for the league win.

Roaring Fork (4-10, 1-2 WSL) had a balanced scoring sheet. Carley Crownhart led the charge with nine points. Peery and Pargiter-Walker each chipped in with eight points, and Genesis Quintero contributed to the winning total with seven points.

Roaring Fork’s boys had a tougher time, holding slim leads of 13-10 and 22-18 in the opening two quarters of play. It was a decisive 14-5 run in the third quarter that ultimately helped the Rams secure their second conference win.

“We switched up our defense a little at halftime and told the kids that they just needed to lock down on their man a little bit more,” said first-year Roaring Fork coach Jason Kreiling. “We’ve had a lot of close games this year, and we just need to learn to finish games better.”

Junior Ryan Metheny opened the key third period with a 3-pointer for the Rams. Senior Ze Pineda followed the Metheny score with a drive and a basket to put Roaring Fork up 27-21.

Metheny kept things rolling in favor of the home team with a steal and a layup. Then, junior guard Eddie Hernandez dropped in a 3-pointer, and senior guard Aaron Varela hit an inside basket for the Rams during the run.

The Roaring Fork breathing room that was created with the third quarter run shrunk a bit midway through the final period when Gunnison post player Theron Yoder hit three 3-pointers to bring the Cowboys to within 42-34 with 3:04 to play, but the Rams were able to bottle up Yoder in the final minutes to hang on for the win.

Junior guard River Byrne led Roaring Fork (5-8, 2-1 WSL) in scoring with 11 points. Sophomore guard Noel Richardson had eight points, with Metheny and Varela each hitting for seven points.

Richardson sustained a hard fall to the floor with 23 seconds remaining in the game and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher and transported to the hospital via an ambulance. Coach Kreiling said following the game that Richardson was checked out by medical personnel and will be OK.

Both the Roaring Fork girls and boys will be back on the court Tuesday with a road trip to visit the rival Basalt Longhorns.

Around the league: Elsewhere Saturday, for the boys, it was Coal Ridge 59-43 over Crested Butte; Aspen 65-39 over Grand Valley; Battle Mountain 50-49 over Rifle; and, in 4A action, Palisade 70-63 in overtime over Glenwood Springs.

For the girls, a huge 23-8 first quarter propelled Glenwood Springs to a big win on the road over 4A WSL foe Palisade, 58-33; and it was Rifle 34-25 over Battle Mountain, also on the road.

Coal Ridge was the only area team in action Friday night, playing at Basalt. The Titans boys won 64-51, and it was the Titans girls 48-38 over the Longhorns.

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