Expectations remain high for Roaring Fork girls basketball team despite key losses

Mike Vidakovich
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Hit hard by graduation, the Roaring Fork girls basketball team, under the direction of second-year coach Jade Bath, will need to quickly regroup in the preseason and find some youngsters to fill the roles of several prominent players that are no longer wearing the blue and gold uniforms.

“We lost seven seniors who laid a good foundation for our program last year,” Bath said. “We don’t look at this as a rebuilding year, though. I would like the kids to raise the bar even higher than in the past. Just finding what girls will step up and fill some key roles is our priority right now.”

The lone senior on the team, Megan Nieslanik, along with junior guard Logan Erickson, should be able to hold down the fort for Bath out front on the perimeter. Junior Kendall Bernot, who according to Bath may play several positions for the Rams, will be counted on heavily to provide defense, points, rebounds and leadership for the young Carbondale team.

“We’ll be young — just one senior on the roster,” Bath said. “But if the kids can play a mature game and do what we ask, our expectations for them can rise. Some of these girls saw varsity time last year, so we just need to act like a mature team and act like we have been there.”

The Western Slope League girls’ race could be fairly wide open this coming season, but Bath gives a slight nod to Moffat County as the conference favorite. She also looks for Olathe and Cedaredge to have competitive teams, but she is quick to state that, “You just really never know. Some teams will surprise you because they develop more quickly than you would have guessed as the season goes on.”

Regardless of what happens on the court in this winter, Bath is having the time of her life coaching at her alma mater and being with her team each night at practice.

“These girls compete so hard,” Bath said. “It’s just fun to watch them and be around them every night.”

The fun begins for Bath and the Rams on Dec. 1 and 2 in Carbondale as Roaring Fork will host Steamboat and Rifle in the annual Brenda Patch Tournament.