KMTS Basketball: Roaring Fork vs. Faith Christian in State Sweet 16 Saturday

CARBONDALE (3/8/13) –  Earning a first-round home regional set the fifth-ranked Roaring Fork boys up with number 28-seed Middle Park, and the result was predictable, a 72-49 first-round state playoff win for the Rams Friday.  In the other regional at Roaring Fork High School, Faith Christian held on for a 59-54 win over higher-seeded Centauri.

So the Rams (20-3) will host the Eagles (13-10, number 21-seed) on Saturday for the regional championship, which would propel Roaring Fork into the Great 8, to be played at Colorado State University beginning Thursday.

The suspense was out of this one quickly after the Panthers scored the game’s first basket, and the Rams answered with ten straight points on the way to a 17-6 first-quarter lead.  Trae Moxley scored six of the Rams’ 10-7 second quarter points for a 27-13 halftime lead.

Dakotah Grett, scoreless in the first half, poured in 9 points in the third as Roaring Fork pushed its lead to 48-30.  By the time Middle Park’s high-scoring tandem of Ben Eaton and Johnny Stensvad got going in the final quarter, it was too late.  Eaton, who averages 18 points a game, was 1-for-8 in the first half, and he and Stensvad (13.5 per game) had a combined 5 points at halftime.

Moxley finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds; sophomore Ben Carpenter poured in 16, Grett added 14 with 5 assists, and Israel Leyva had 12 with 5 assists.  Eaton had 14 for the Panthers and Stensvad 12.  Evan Petras added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

In Faith Christian’s win over 12th-ranked Centauri (15-7), the Eagles led by 14 in the third quarter before 10 fourth-quarter points by Justin Gallegos helped the Falcons take a 50-49 lead with 4:07 to play.  The Eagles regained the lead at the free throw line with help from a technical foul on Centauri.  

 Grant Harkness, a 6-4 sophomore, scored 13 points with 11 rebounds and two blocks off the bench.  Spencer Bazz made 7-of-9 free throws and also had 13 points.  Six–five Miles Finch scored 9 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.  Alex Albright had 8 points and 8 boards for the Eagles, who attempted just four 3-point shots in the game.  Gallegos led the Falcons with 18, with 5-9 sophomore Johnny Cornum adding 16 points, but went scoreless in the fourth quarter.

 The Aspen Skiers (19-4, ranked 16th) thrashed La Junta (16-7, 17th) 72-47 to enter the Sweet 16 against number-one ranked Kent Denver (22-1).  Basalt lost to Brush, 55-18, and the Coal Ridge girls were defeated by D.S.S.T. 67-37.  The Roaring Fork Lady Rams lost a close one, 51-48 to host Eaton in first round play.