Whether the classification is 3A or 4A didn't matter to the Rifle Lady Bears, who finished their second consecutive undefeated Western Slope League season with a 67-16 win over a Roaring Fork team without a senior on the roster.
The young Lady Rams, who won just one of their 18 games this season, held an early 6-4 lead before the Bears (12-0, 18-0) scored the last ten points of the first quarter and the first 14 of the next period to lead 28-6 before the Rams scored their only basket of the second quarter.
The Rams reeled off a 13-0 run to halftime, and with Cortney Cordova scoring a dozen points, ran up a 17-2 third quarter score before the Bears' five senior starters sat down for the rest of the game.
“We set defensive goals each game,” Rifle coach Stephanie Heald said, and holding Roaring Fork to three baskets or less each quarter and forcing ten first-half turnovers with the press exceeded the target. “We just want to be ready for the playoffs,” Heald said, hoping the Bears would go deeper in the 3A state tournament this year than they did in 4A last season when they were eliminated in their second game, 64-54 by Cheyenne Mountain.
Cordova finished with 26 points and six steals. Makayla Wilkins dished out 10 assists and had 5 steals in her three quarters of play.
On Tuesday the Bears will host Cedaredge (1-12, 4-15), which won Monday's play-in game 45-42 over Hotchkiss (4-9, 6-13). Roaring Fork won its second game of the season, 42-42 at Aspen (3-9, 5-14) Monday and will play at Olathe (11-1, 15-3) Wednesday. The Basalt (4-9, 6-12) girls will also be in action Wednesday, going to Gunnison (9-4, 13-6).