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Rams enter league season

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By Will Grandbois

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

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After plenty of practice in December tournaments, Roaring Fork
High School basketball is back from holiday break with the first league games
of the season on the road this week.

The boys got off to a rocky start last month with a 50-49 loss
to Steamboat Springs in the Brenda Patch Tournament. The Rams haven’t lost a
game since then, and even notched a narrow victory over Northglenn, a school
with more than five times Roaring Fork’s enrollment.

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“Our tournament games allowed us to play against teams we
didn’t know and made us make game adjustments, which the team did well,” said
head coach Larry Williams.

Entering league play at 5-1, the boys aren’t about to rest on
their laurels.

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Basketball Schedule
(Girls’ varsity followed by boys’ varsity)
Jan. 6 – RFHS @ Delta, 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10 – RFHS @ Basalt, 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
Jan. 17 – Battle Mtn. @ RFHS, 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
Jan. 21 – Grand Valley @ RFHS, 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m.  
Jan. 24 – RFHS @ Coal Ridge, 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m.          
Jan. 27 – RFHS @ Moffat, 6 p.m, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Basalt @ RFHS, 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
Feb. 4 – RFHS @ Olathe, 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m.
Feb. 10: Gunnison @ RFHS, 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
Feb. 11: Delta @ RFHS, 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m.
Feb. 15: Vail Christian @ RFHS, 5 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 17: Cedaredge @ RFHS, 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
Feb. 18, RFHS @ Aspen, 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. 

“I believe this team has an opportunity to be special, but we need to continue improving and to have enough discipline to do the little things right,” Williams said. “We will have to play well every game in order to be successful.” 

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Williams called the Basalt Longhorns (6-1), who the Rams play
on Jan. 10, the team to beat, but that doesn’t mean he’s underestimating his
team’s Jan. 6 matchup with Delta.

He thinks the team’s lack of selfishness will serve them well.

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“We have had a variety of players who have been the leading
scorer (in any given game), so we aren’t dependent upon one or two to score,”
he observed.

Jassiel Petatan leads the Rams in scoring with 12.7 points per
game, closely followed by Justin Thompson with 12.3, according to maxpreps.com.
Aldo Pinela leads in assists, with 3.6, and steals, with 2.4. Overall, seven
team members have scored this season.

The girls benefit from an even deeper roster, boasting nine
players with at least a point a game. Senior Cindy Salinas leads the pack on
that stat, with 10.7 of the team’s 36.7 average game points, as well as in
rebounds, with 7. Ashley Hall, another senior, comes out on top in assists,
with 3.3 per game, while Lily Ramos edges her out on steals with 2.8 per game.

For head coach Jade Bath, it’s about a lot more than
statistics.

“It’s about putting all the right pieces together,” she said.

So far, they’ve managed to meet their goal of .500 in pre-break
play, and are one of three teams in the league with a 3-3 record.

“I have a pretty good idea of who’s going to play where and how
they do,” Bath said. “Friday will be a good test, especially against Delta.”

Until recently a 4A school, Delta is 4-1 for the season, behind
only Moffat County (7-1).

Bath has some ideas on how to lead the team to success.

“Right now, league is wide open,” she said. “Most of our girls
have played varsity before, some of them all four years. They’re growing up in
experience.”

It’s a great place to be in for her first year as head coach –
though she’s been involved with the team for years and was a Ram player
herself.

“I think we had a really good start,” she said, “but I’m not
going to be satisfied until I can get these seniors into districts and
hopefully regionals.”

Published in The Sopris Sun on January 5, 2017.

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