Aspen boys b-ball drops opener |

Aspen boys b-ball drops opener

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Aspen High School boys varsity basketball team dropped its season-opener to Paonia Friday night in a game where Aspen “played as bad as it is possible to play mentally,” according to the AHS coach.

Aspen lost by just two points, 47-45, in the nonleague contest, but coach Steve Ketchum said he felt Aspen should have come out on top for 15 or more points.

“It was like an invasion of the body snatchers,” Ketchum said Sunday. “Somebody stole our kids before the game and I haven’t seen ’em since. I don’t know who showed up, but it wasn’t our boys.”

Aspen opened the game with three missed layups – en route to a 33-percent average from the field – and turned the ball over a total of 28 times, Ketchum said.

“After wins by both [Aspen] JV girls and boys and varsity girls, our team looked like something out of the twilight zone,” Ketchum said. “A combination of nerves, first game jitters, poor ball handling and passing by our best players, and poor shooting by the entire squad – not to mention some horrendous defensive mistakes – cost us a very close two-point loss.”

Junior forward Jeff Brence led Aspen in scoring with 13 points, followed by sophomore guard Nick Farrell with 12. Senior guard Duncan Delano and sophomore forward Phil Salazar contributed 6 points.

“It just wasn’t a good night,” Ketchum said. “We didn’t play well and there’s no explanation for it.”

Aspen plays next on the road at the Centauri Tournament in Alamosa Saturday and Sunday.

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