Coachability is an important skill set to have for any basketball team, and it’s a trait Alex Schrempf is excited to see with his young players. Needing to adapt on the fly Saturday against visiting Middle Park, Aspen High School rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to win 61-54 inside the AHS gymnasium for its fourth straight win.
“There was a stretch in the first half where we were doing a lot of individual stuff,” said Schrempf, Aspen’s fourth-year head coach. “It was really impressive from a coach’s standpoint to see a group of young men like that that just adapted.”
Middle Park (4-2) came out swinging against Aspen in the non-league game. The Panthers led 7-0 only to have AHS pull within a point on two occasions, but did end the first quarter with a 20-13 lead. Middle Park’s lead was 35-25 at halftime but by the end of the third quarter the Skiers were within 41-37.
“They came out and stuck to our guns, they started playing Aspen basketball at our pace instead of at theirs,” Schrempf said of the second half. “They are very coachable; they are adaptable. We have our tendencies, but they are coachable to the point where we are able to make adjustments and these guys are retaining it.”
Aspen tied the game at 41-all with 7:19 to play and took its first lead at 45-43 shortly after. The game was tied 53-all with just under three minutes to play, but it was all AHS from there, a basket by senior Aidan Ledingham with about 44 seconds remaining making it a five-point game and all but icing it.
Ledingham and freshman Taylor Akin each finished with 20 points, while sophomore Braden Korpela added 10.
Only the night before, in a 66-45 win over Cedaredge in their league opener, Aspen sophomore Lucas Lee finished with 24 points, Korpela and Ledingham each scoring 10. While Lee, Korpela and Akin stand out among the current underclassmen, Schrempf is thrilled about the potential of that entire group.
“Both those two classes are made of kids that are so bought in,” Schrempf said. “They love basketball and they want to keep getting better and they are students of the game. Having that, it just raises the ceiling so high.”
With Saturday’s win, Aspen improved to 6-3 overall and 1-0 in WSL play. The Skiers have won four straight games, all coming since the holiday break. Next up, AHS will host Vail Mountain on Tuesday in a league game.
The Aspen girls (2-4) did not play Saturday after a 58-3 loss to Cedaredge on Friday.
BASALT basketball FALLS TWICE AT DELTA on Saturday
The Basalt High School basketball teams played Saturday at Delta. The BHS girls lost 64-42 after the Panthers (7-3, 2-0) jumped out to an 18-4 lead after a quarter. The loss dropped Basalt to 3-4 overall and 0-2 in league play.
The Longhorn boys lost 83-31 to fall to 1-8 overall and 0-2 in league play. Delta improved to 5-5 and 3-0 in WSL play.
Both the Basalt boys and girls are scheduled to host Vail Christian on Wednesday.
ASPEN HOCKEY TIES, LOSES ON weekend ROAD TRIP
The Aspen High School hockey team played to a 2-2 tie Friday at Steamboat Springs before falling 6-2 at Summit on Saturday. The road trip results lead to a 3-5-2 overall record for the Skiers, who are set to host Battle Mountain on Friday and Doherty on Saturday in their next games.
Aspen high ALPINE TEAM GOES 1-2 AT LOVELAND
The Aspen High School alpine ski teams competed Friday at Loveland, with the boys team winning and the girls finishing second. AHS junior Tyler Thomas won the boys giant slalom, while junior teammate Charlie Olson was second and junior Thomas Morris fourth. Max Godomsky, Nick Godomsky, Hank Sweeney and Dyer Hunting finished seventh through 10th, respectively.
Evergreen won the girls side of things with 174 points, while Aspen tied for second with Lake County with 165 points. Lake County’s Taylor Duel won the girls race, while Aspen’s top finisher was junior Annika Nichols in fifth. Macy Hopkinson (sixth), Summer McSwain (seventh), Ronnie Bedford (eighth) and Gemma Hill (ninth) all finished in the top 10 for the Skiers.
The Aspen High Nordic team did not compete this weekend.