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Roaring Fork teams sweep Paonia

Jim Noelker photo.Roaring Fork surrounds a jump shot by Paonia's Patrick Simpson Friday night.
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The Roaring Fork girls earned a bye in the opening round of the 3A District Basketball Tournament with a 64-57 win over Paonia on Friday night in the regular-season finale.

The victory in Carbondale boosted the Roaring Fork girls to 8-2 in the 3A Western Slope League, 12-5 overall.

The Rams finished tied with Cedaredge and Rangely behind league champion Basalt (10-0).



Unofficially, the league’s tiebreakers will send the Cedaredge girls into the tournament as the No. 2 team, with Roaring Fork No. 3 and Rangely No. 4.

They all will draw first-round byes on Tuesday, along with Basalt.



The Roaring Fork girls will open District Tournament play at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Rifle High School. They will play the winner of the No. 11 Hotchkiss at No. 6 (Aspen or Gunnison) pigtail game. The boys 3A tournament will be played at Palisade.

Coach Jacky Gaddis’ Rams capped the conference season with a fast start against Paonia, leading 24-10 at the end of the first period.

But the Eagles, behind Jessica Roeber, cut the lead to 31-25 at halftime.

After a slow third quarter, both teams scored extensively in the fourth with the Rams topping the Eagles 25-23 in the quarter to win 64-57.

Caroline Cretti, with three 3-pointers, led the Rams with a season-high 21 points.

Fellow senior Emily Markham, in her final home game, added 18 points including two 3-pointers.

Tarn Udall and Brie Bath added six each. Jessi Rochel scored five while Carly Velasquez and Jenna Nicholson scored four each for Roaring Fork

Roeber led all scorers with 23 for Paonia, including one trey.

Stacey Poulos added 12 for the Eagles. Nicki Poulos added six as the Paonia girls finished 6-4 in league play 11-8 overall.

The Paonia girls also drew a first-round bye as the No. 5 team in the 11-team 3A Western Slope League.

Paonia will take on No. 4 Rangely at 3 p.m. Thursday in the District Tournament at Rifle High School.

Roaring Fork boys

The Roaring Fork boys, with a decisive fourth quarter, finished the regular season with a key 63-53 win over Paonia Friday night.

The victory, paced by Kaid Harris’ 17 points, moved the Rams closer to a first-round bye in the upcoming 3A District Tournament.

The Roaring Fork boys finished the conference season 6-4, 9-9 overall. And their first-round fate actually rested in the hands of the Aspen Skiers.

The Skiers won at Gunnison in a late game Saturday, assuring Roaring Fork’s boys of a first-round bye as the fifth-place team in the league.

An upset win by Gunnison and Roaring Fork’s boys would have host a pigtail playoff game on Tuesday night against No. 11 Olathe. But no.

The Rams did their part to avoid the pigtail with a finishing 19-10 advantage over Paonia in the fourth quarter on Friday night.

The Rams had led early 22-10 at the end of the first quarter.

But the Eagles cut the margin to 33-27 at halftime.

And entering the final quarter, Roaring Fork led only 44-43.

Harris led all scorers with his 17. Nic Lough added 13 and Juan Quintero 11, including two 3-pointers, for Roaring Fork.

Levi Applegate added eight.

Levi Heinritz led Paonia with 16.

Josh Swartzendruber and Pat Simpson added 13 each for the Eagles, who finished the regular season 1-9 in league play, 3-16 overall.


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