AHS boys b-ball routs Meeker
The Aspen High School boys basketball team assumed control of the Class 3A Western Slope League standings with a win over Meeker Saturday.
Aspen, 6-0 in league play and 11-4 overall, continued its quest to become the first-ever AHS boys hoops team to go undefeated in league play with the 74-41 rout of Meeker at home Saturday.
Sophomore point guard Nick Farrell “played the best all-around game of his career,” Aspen coach Steve Ketchum said, leading the AHS Skier team with 12 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to record his second career triple-double.
Aspen sprung out to a 40-17 halftime lead and then cleared its bench in the second half and cruised to the comfortable 33-point victory.
Junior Jeff Brence netted 24 points for Aspen, including 11 in the first quarter, and senior Jared Kidd added 10 points. AHS sophomore Zac Paris, the team’s designated zone buster, sank two 3-pointers in the second quarter and finished with 8 points. Three Aspen players – Shay Stutsman, Weston Paas and Teddy Farrell – each netted their first-ever varsity points.
“We spread the wealth around,” Ketchum said, “and we just played great. Twelve kids played and almost all of them scored.”
“I still can’t figure it out,” the coach continued. “I hesitate to say we’re better than we think we are – because of this weekend against Roaring Fork and Basalt. But if we sweep it’ll prove it to me.”
On Friday, Aspen plays at Roaring Fork (3-3 in league, 6-5 overall). And on Saturday, Aspen plays at Basalt (5-2, 11-5). Both Roaring Fork and Basalt occupy top-5 positions in the league standings behind Aspen, in first, and Gunnison.
“All the coaches agree that there’s more parity in the league this year,” he said. “There’s probably six teams capable of winning the championship. But we’re in the driver’s seat.”
Should Aspen win out its league schedule, which includes later contests against Olathe and Gunnison, not only would it be a first in school history, but the team would earn an automatic berth to the regional tournament, Ketchum said. But first, Aspen must wrangle with the two downvalley disrupters.
“This will be the biggest challenge we’ve faced all year – and against our two biggest rivals,” Ketchum said. “It’s a friendly rivalry for the players and the coaches, and if we’re fortunate enough to win, we’ve got a chance to sweep the league title.”
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