Hoops: Roaring Fork downs Basalt
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
CARBONDALE – The energy level for the Roaring Fork High School boys basketball team was running a little low Saturday afternoon.
By the end of the game, the Rams found just enough to hold off a pesky Basalt Longhorns squad.
Trae Moxley scored a game-high 29 points to go along with 16 rebounds, and his steal in the waning seconds of overtime helped the Rams remain unbeaten in Western Slope League play with a 57-53 victory over the Longhorns in the Roaring Fork High School gym.
“I don’t think I’m ready for a nap, but I think we’re ready for a deep-thought session,” said Moxley, whose team had earned a win at Aspen in overtime Friday. “Don’t get me wrong. Aspen’s a great ballclub, and so is Basalt. But for us, I think we’re one of the best teams in the league, and we need to show it more.”
No doubt, Roaring Fork (8-2, 7-0) had chances to blow the game open, holding the Longhorns (3-6, 2-4) without a field goal for the first five minutes of the second quarter and outscored them 13-3 in the stanza. That led to a 24-17 halftime lead, but the 12 turnovers Basalt forced over the course of regulation helped the Longhorns push the game into overtime.
“After the energy we spent last night, I was worried coming into this one,” Roaring Fork head coach Larry Williams said. “We have to become more fundamental. That’s the bottom line. Our turnovers are killing us.”
Basalt got a team-high 18 points from Javier Huerta – 11 coming in the second half and in overtime – along with 14 points and a pair of 3-pointers from Bertilio Garcia. The last 3 Garcia hit – a 25-footer from the top of the key with 15 seconds remaining in regulation – sent the game into overtime tied at 46.
“We had some guys who made some big plays for us tonight,” Basalt head coach Rolf Schildman said. “I was hoping that momentum would carry over into overtime, but we just couldn’t execute when we really needed to.”
Roaring Fork took the lead in overtime thanks to Tanner Nieslanik, whose steal, layup and subsequent foul shot paced the Rams to a 49-46 lead with 3 minutes, 27 seconds on the clock. A layup from Huerta with 1:15 left tied it at 53, but another steal from Nieslanik resulted in a fast-break layup from the 6-foot-5 Moxley with 25 seconds remaining.
Basalt took a timeout with 13.6 seconds on the clock. On the ensuing inbound pass, Moxley knocked the ball into mid court. A jump ball gave the ball back to the Rams with 4.1 seconds left, and Nieslanik sealed it with a pair of double-bonus foul shots two seconds later.
Spencer Glasener added eight points for the Longhorns, who next play at Olathe on Friday. The Rams, who have won eight straight overall and outrebounded Basalt, 34-23, will host Coal Ridge on Tuesday.
Hattie Gianinetti scored a game-high 14 points to pace four Roaring Fork players in double figures, and the Rams rolled to a 70-28 league win over Basalt.
Maddie Nieslanik and Megan Gianinetti each had 12 points to go with a 10-point performance from Shaeley Lough, helping the Rams (5-5, 5-2) take control from the start. Basalt (0-9, 0-6) trailed 17-2 after one quarter, and a 3-pointer from Carina Capobianco with 5:01 left in the second snapped the Longhorns’ nine-minute window without a field goal.
Basalt kept fighting, as a jumper from Emmalee Erickson cut Roaring Fork’s lead to 38-17 to start the third quarter. The Rams, however, responded with a 9-0 run that was capped by a 3-pointer from Hattie Gianinetti with a little less than four minutes gone in the second half.
“I think Basalt is kind of in a rebuilding stage right now, but I think our girls took advantage of that,” Roaring Fork head coach Kirk Cheney said. “We understand that we have to play our game and not worry about what’s out there across the floor from us.”
Capobianco had 10 points, and Erickson had nine to pace Basalt’s scoring.
Basalt next travels to Olathe on Friday.
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The third weekend of play begins Thursday and runs through Sunday with the Bantam B, Squirt A and Squirt B divisions. Because of safety protocols, spectators aren’t allowed.