Rams run past Basalt in fourth quarter
Christian Tena’s foul shots were anything but free Friday night against Basalt. The Roaring Fork senior found himself on the end of a number of hard fouls in the inner-valley rivalry game, which led to 15 trips to the free-throw line. Tena may be counting bruises today, but it’s the Longhorns who were in the most pain after Tena led a 20-5 run in the fourth quarter to run away with a 55-47 win. Tena converted 13 of his free-throw attempts in the game, including four in the final minute to ice the comeback victory. The senior finished with a game-high 25 points.”We dug a hole for ourselves, and we knew we had to come out and do something good or else the game was over,” Tena said of the fourth-quarter run, which came after Basalt led 42-35. “They’re a really good team, and we’d made too many mistakes up to that point. Hats off to them, because they kept it close.”Basalt senior guard Ben Pollock drained a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the third quarter, which gave Basalt its sizable seven-point cushion heading into the final eight minutes. Prior to that basket, the game had been a two-possession contest throughout.The Rams didn’t panic, however. Tena started the fourth-quarter run with a beautiful drive to the hoop, followed by a converted free-throw on the ensuing foul after the shot.Rams junior Kade Gianinetti then added two big baskets. A momentum-changing 3-pointer from Rams junior Kyle Raaflub then gave Roaring Fork a 47-45 lead with 2:56 remaining. Pollock got a good look on a 3-point attempt on Basalt’s ensuing possession but was off the mark. Tena then put in his biggest two points of the game.Despite playing with four fouls, the senior didn’t hesitate as he muscled into the paint, then caught a tipped entry pass before spinning to the basket for a hard-fought lay-in with 1:09 remaining.Basalt then went into panic mode, but fouling Tena only hurt the Longhorns’ chances of a comeback.Tena sank his final four three throws to push Roaring Fork’s lead to 53-45 with 3.9 seconds remaining. Pollock was fouled on a last-second desperation 3-point attempt, which led to three foul shots.Basalt managed just two points for the entire fourth quarter before Pollock sank his three free throws to notch the final tally.”We tended to let them have opportunities at the free-throw line, and to me that was the difference in the whole game,” Basalt coach Michael Green said. “It wasn’t just the fourth quarter. Christian had 13 points from the free-throw line, and we didn’t do a good job when we got to the line.”Pollock and senior center Darren Duroux were catalysts for Basalt’s third-quarter run after Roaring Fork took a 28-27 lead into the locker room at halftime. Pollock, who finished with a team-high 22 points, opened the quarter with a jumper and finished it with the big 3-pointer.Duroux had nine of his 16 points in the quarter. Senior J.P. Fitzpatrick was the third-highest scorer for the Longhorns, adding two three pointers to finish with eight points.”For my senior year, it’s one to remember,” Tena said. “It’s always been the big cross-town rivalry. To come out in my last game on this gym floor with a W is something that I will remember for quite a while.”
Basalt girls hold off Roaring ForkThe girls matchup Friday night also went down to the fourth quarter, with Basalt holding off a late Roaring Fork push for a 65-58 win.Basalt led, 57-50, with under five minutes remaining before Roaring Fork’s Whitney Campbell drained two 3-pointers to cut the lead to three. After a lay-in from Basalt’s Dayne Toney, Campbell added a quick two-pointer to keep the game close. Basalt’s full-court press forced the Rams into a turnover, however, and Toney got an easy fast-break lay-up to seal the win. “I’m always really proud of them,” Basalt coach Carolyn Compton said after the win. “They have a lot of pride and a lot of energy and they were feeling it.”Basalt junior Katy Mulcahy was her team’s leading scorer, finishing with 16 points after going 8-9 at the free-throw line. Roaring Fork’s Laura Wright led all scorers with 19 points.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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