Well-balanced Rams top Cards
CARBONDALE — What a difference a week has made for the Roaring Fork High School boys basketball team. Just ask Larry Williams.
“We’re still a work in progress, but they definitely made big strides tonight,” the Roaring Fork coach said following his team’s 60-52 Class 3A Western Slope League victory against Grand Valley. “There were times at the beginning of the season when I didn’t thing we’d be able to score 60 points against our C Team.”
The Rams (2-2 overall, 2-0 league) managed to do that against a feisty Grand Valley squad that played some of Class 3A’s upper-tier teams tough earlier this year. What’s more, every player on Roaring Fork’s roster scored, paced by a 15-point performance from Rams’ senior Ben Carpenter.
“That’s great,” Carpenter said. “If people are double teaming me or one of my teammates, we know that someone is open and we have faith in them to hit the open shot.”
Dwayne Yin added 12 points and Timmy Nielsen chipped in 10 points for the Rams, who trailed early on before holding off a comeback attempt from Grand Valley (1-4, 0-2 league) in the fourth quarter. Sam Parker scored a game-high 19 points, John Parker added nine on three 3-pointers and Tanner McGee chipped in eight points to pace the Cardinals.
Grand Valley, trailing 47-40 headed into the fourth quarter, was in a situation where it was forced to foul when Sam Parker’s layup with 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining pulled the Cardinals within 54-50. Roaring Fork only made one of their next three foul-shot attempts to keep it a two-possession game, but the Cardinals missed two shots and turned the ball over on their next two possessions.
That’s when Carpenter stepped up, hitting 4-of-6 foul shots in the final 48.8 seconds to help the Rams keep their distance down the stretch.
Grand Valley hosts Basalt today in another league game. Roaring Fork continues league play today at home against Olathe.
Grand Valley 56, Roaring Fork 44
CARBONDALE — Grand Valley senior Haley Johnson scored a team-high 15 points with three of the Cardinals’ five 3-pointers, helping Grand Valley 4-2 overall, 2-0 3A WSL) take an early lead and keep its distance from the Rams (0-4, 0-2).
Johnson also finished 6-for-6 shooting from the foul line, Jordan Scott added 12 and Ashlynn Speakmen chipped in 11 for Grand Valley, which watched Roaring Fork mount a third quarter comeback by cutting the Cardinals’ 26-12 halftime lead to 37-28 by the end of the third quarter. The Cardinals pulled away just when they needed to, though, as Speakman’s 3-pointer with 3:31 remaining answered six straight Roaring Fork points scored by Autumn Grandberry to give Grand Valley a 50-39 cushion.
“We’re definitely one of those teams where when you push us, we’re going to push back,” Johnson said.
Grandberry finished with 16 points, and Rams’ freshman Lyndsay Hansen added a season-high 13 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
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The brackets are set for the 12-team 4A girls lacrosse state championships, and the Roaring Fork Rams are dancing as the No. 9 seed.