Aspen boys basketball beats Meeker in home opener, BHS girls still perfect
The Aspen High School boys basketball team used a strong third quarter push to pull away from visiting Meeker for a 56-44 non-league win on Thursday in its home opener.
Leading 29-21 at halftime, the Skiers outscored the Cowboys 21-9 in the third frame and withstood a small rally in the fourth quarter to hang on in a mostly empty AHS gymnasium.
“We go to Meeker every preseason for their tournament and I love going out there because they are great people, great hospitality, and they make for some great competition,” AHS coach Alex Schrempf said. “And that’s what they’ve done every year. For us, we really went into it like this was going to be a battle, a hard-fought one.”
Three players finished in double figures for Aspen, led by Lucas Lee’s 14 points. Porter Lee had 12 points and Taylor Akin 11 points, while Braden Korpela had nine.
It was the first loss of the season for Meeker (3-1), which had rolled to wins over Rangely (72-34), Cedaredge (56-41) and Grand Valley (61-44) prior to visiting Aspen.
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The Skiers improved to 4-0 overall, their first three wins coming against Grand Junction (51-44), Gunnison (42-38) and Basalt (55-48).
“It was good. Just another step of development for these guys. That’s the most exciting part about it,” Schrempf said. “We have guys who have a ferocious appetite for improvement. They keep wanting more. They keep wanting to get better and figure things out.”
Next up, Aspen will host Coal Ridge in a key league game on Saturday. The Titans finished second in the league last season to Gunnison before getting knocked out of the league tournament by the upset-minded Skiers in overtime.
Reardon scores 30, Basalt girls now 6-0 on season
Led by senior Gracie Reardon, the Basalt High School girls basketball team remained unbeaten on Thursday after a 55-44 win at Meeker. Reardon finished with a career-high 30 points, including six made 3-pointers, in the non-league victory.
“We only had (five) players in scoring, so it wasn’t how we usually play,” BHS coach Amy Contini texted after the game. “But still nice to come out with a good, solid victory. In past years when we got down, you could see the look of defeat. Now when we get down I see a look of compete.”
The Longhorns led 27-22 at halftime, with Reardon scoring 20 of her points over the first two quarters. Senior Riley Dolan carried the team in the second half, where she scored 14 of her 17 total points.
With the win, Basalt improved to 6-0 on the season, which is already nearing the midway point because of changes made due to the pandemic. Next up, BHS will host Grand Valley on Saturday in a league contest. The Longhorns played at Grand Valley last Saturday, winning 52-41 in a non-league game.
The Basalt boys (2-3 overall) did not play Thursday. They also host Grand Valley on Saturday in their lone matchup of the regular season.
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There was some fun post-game banter about maybe making a run at the Europa League crown, or at the very least a championship here in Colorado, but coaches and veteran players alike made sure the Aspen soccer team had its eyes aimed at a more reasonable goal, like making the playoffs.