Roaring Fork rolls past Basalt, 53-33 |

Roaring Fork rolls past Basalt, 53-33

BASALT – Marty Nieslanik is undefeated as the head coach of the Roaring Fork Rams boys basketball team, but he’s hoping his record of 1-0 doesn’t get another test anytime soon.

With head coach Mike Fahrenkrug missing due to illness Friday night, Nieslanik, normally the assistant coach, took charge of the Rams’ bench as Roaring Fork rolled to a 53-33 victory over rival Basalt.

Although, much of the credit must go to the performance of Roaring Fork’s post players.

The Longhorns (6-8, 7-12) didn’t have an answer for the inside game of the Roaring Fork (10-4, 12-7) Friday night at Basalt High School – something it will need to rectify by Tuesday.

Roaring Fork post players Nic Lough and Dan Markoya scored 18 and 10 points, respectively, as the Rams maintained third place in the league and denied the Longhorns a chance at a first-round home game.

Instead, the result sets up a first-round district tournament rematch between the two teams Tuesday night at Roaring Fork High School at 7:30 p.m. Roaring Fork enters as the No. 3 seed, while Basalt is the sixth seed.

Lough got the Rams off to a solid start with nine of the team’s first 13 points as Roaring Fork led 13-7 early in the second quarter.

“We didn’t get the ball into (the inside players) enough,” said Nieslanik. “That hurt us when we started shooting the threes.”

Kyle Kappeli scored seven of his team-high 15 points in the second quarter as Longhorns clawed back to within two points at 20-18, but the Rams went on a 16-4 run at the end of the half and into the third quarter for a 36-22 lead.

The Longhorns cut the lead into single digits in the fourth quarter, but neither team got into much of an offensive rhythm in the second half as the game turned into a battle from the charity stripe, where the Rams held the advantage.

Roaring Fork scored 14 of its 26 second-half points from the free-throw line, while Basalt notched 5 of its 15 points on foul shots. In the game, Roaring Fork was 20-of 27, and the Longhorns finished 5-of-13.

“Down the stretch we got a lot of great shots, they just didn’t go in,” Basalt coach Michael Green said. “The kids continued to fight, they just weren’t able to finish the shots we had. We’ve got to hit the freebies when we have them.”

Roaring Fork 53, Basalt 33

Roaring Fork 11 16 11 15-53

Basalt 7 11 8 7-33

ROARING FORK – Jake Boyle 0 0-2 0, Aaron Markham 2 4-4 8, Jose Escarsega 0 0-0 0, Chad Minor 1 2-2 5, Christian Tena 0 2-2 2, Tyler Gillespie 1 0-0 2, Arnold Hernandez 2 3-5 7, Dan Markoya 3 4-4 10, Misael Fernandez 0 1-2 1, Jon Lough 0 0-0 0, Nic Lough 7 4-6 18, Tommy Joiner 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 20-27 53.

BASALT – Cody Burholder 2 0-3 5, Clayton Peetz 0 0-0 0, Danny Popish 2 1-2 5, Ryan Thompson 2 3-6 7, Kyle Kappeli 7 0-0 15, Dillon Johnson 0 1-2 1, Travis Schwan 0 0-0 0, Tyler Whitmire 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 5-13 33.

3-pointers – Minor; Burkholder, Kappeli. Fouled out – none. Technicals – none.

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