RFHS boys advance to state finals
FORT COLLINS – The Roaring Fork boys are finally over the hump and playing for a state basketball championship.A year after the Rams settled for third place in the Class 3A State Championships, Roaring Fork emerged the 50-43 victors in a defensive battle over the upstart Yuma Indians in Friday night’s semifinals at Moby Arena on the CSU campus. Yuma (16-11) knocked off top seed Kent Denver in Thursday’s quarterfinals.The No. 1 seed Rams (22-3) will face a second seed in Denver Christian (22-4) for the 3A championship at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Crusaders were 61-49 winners over Pagosa Springs in Friday’s other semifinal game.”This is the state championships, it’s what everybody dreams about,” said Roaring Fork junior Christian Tena, who scored 10 points and had nine rebounds in the winning effort – and on a bum foot to boot.Four days ago, Tena had a 2-inch screw surgically inserted in the little toe of his left foot, after suffering a hairline fracture in last weekend’s Regional championship in Carbondale.”Yesterday, I wasn’t mentally prepared and came out a little slow,” Tena said of Thursday’s 76-60 quarterfinal win over Faith Christian, in which Tena fouled out. “This year, we had just one goal, to show what Rams basketball is all about.”A low-scoring opening quarter saw Roaring Fork and Yuma tied 8-all at the end of the frame, but the Rams were able to open a 23-18 lead by halftime.The Indians’ Kelly Seward knocked home a 3-pointer to open the third, but was answered immediately by Rams’ senior Nic Lough, who drained one of his three 3-pointers on the night. Yuma outscored Roaring Fork 14-9 in the period to tie it 32-all headed into the fourth.”They kept up with us the whole game; they’re a good team,” said Lough, who led all scorers with 22 points, including 5-of-5 from the free throw line. “Coach told me to keep shooting, and I just kept shooting.”Yuma had a shot, trailing by one, 41-40, with 3:25 to play, but the Rams’ free throws down the stretch proved the difference. Roaring Fork was 10 of 12 from the charity stripe on the night.The Indians were led by forward Michael Lebsack with 14 points, while Seward finished with 11.
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