Hoops: Winless ‘Horns boys fall to Rams | AspenTimes.com

Hoops: Winless ‘Horns boys fall to Rams

Michael Appelgate
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jim Ryan/Special to The Aspen TimesThe Rams' Trae Moxley scores in a crowd Friday night at Roaring Fork High School. The junior finished with 15 points in a Rams rout.

CARBONDALE – Looking to post their first win of the season, the Basalt Longhorns looked to stop a strong, balanced Roaring Fork squad.

Led by 6-foot-5 junior forward Trae Moxley, who scored a game-high 15 points, the Rams led from start to finish in a 57-29 rout of their valley rivals.

Basalt head coach Shane Vetter was ready for the junior forward and prepped his team to face him, but found the perimeter shooting of Roaring Fork to be too much.

“They just didn’t miss,” Vetter said. “Honestly, it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. Trae Moxley is a great player, and we all knew that. His size is something we just don’t see very often, especially in our district.”

The loss dropped Basalt to 0-8, while Roaring Fork improved to 4-4. The only player in double figures for Basalt was junior guard Sean Ryan with 14 points.

“We just didn’t make shots. Plain and simple,” Vetter said. “We were getting our looks, but they just weren’t going through the cylinder.”

The Longhorns found themselves down 11-3 in the first quarter, and after a timeout by Vetter four minutes in to the game, the tempo on the court did not change for Basalt. After the first quarter, the visitors were down 17-5. They trailed by 22 at the half.

“It really makes us scared a little bit,” Ryan said of the Longhorns’ fast start. “When we come out and they’re hitting three’s and making passes down low, it really brings our confidence level down and our intensity goes down.”

Vetter added: “It’s a problem they’ve had since JV basketball. They have a problem with staying hot and pushing it into the second half. It’s not their energy, and it’s not their conditioning. They haven’t had a lot of confidence for a while, and they need to build it up.”

In the second half, the Rams were lifted by Ryan’s strong third-quarter performance, where he scored all 11 of his team’s points. In that quarter, Roaring Fork outscored Basalt just 12-11. But in the end, the Rams’ excellent ball movement around the perimeter and size down low with Moxley proved too much for the Longhorns.

“We’ve never been good at coming back,” Ryan said. “When they’re ahead, we just can’t seem to find the right shot to get back in it, just can’t find the spark.”

According to Vetter and Ryan, the team is holding their heads high and moving forward with the season.

“The last couple games, we’ve had a lot to be happy about,” Vetter said. “We have a lot to build off of and we’ve had major improvements in every facet of the game. Now we have to put it together.”

Basalt visits Grand Valley High School on at 4 p.m. today.

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