Aspen boys hoops readies for league |

Aspen boys hoops readies for league

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Aspen High School boys basketball team adjourned for holiday break Tuesday night after dishing out a 69-35 rout to Class 2A Grand Valley in Parachute.

Aspen improved to 5-2 overall this season, the same record the team entered holiday break with the last two seasons. The team opens its league schedule in mid-January, after the break.

“This year, however,” coach Steve Ketchum noted, “our team has played far better competition early.”

AHS center Blake Beyea rang up the first 6 points for Aspen, leading the team to a 21-9 advantage after the first quarter. Aspen’s defense shut down Grand Valley’s Clay McKinley, who averages 20 points a game, limiting him to zero points in the first half.

Senior Jared Kidd added to Aspen’s 30-16 lead going into the third, knocking down 11 points en route to a 58-27 lead entering the fourth. Aspen cruised through the final quarter, outscoring Grand Valley 21-8.

Junior swingman Jeff Brence led Aspen in scoring with 19 points, followed Kidd with 14, who had to sit out a quarter of the game searching for a contact. When he found it, trampled, he returned to the game and sank two 3-pointers, Ketchum said.

Farrell scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers.

Aspen plays its next game Jan. 5 at home against Delta.

“After being on the road for the past month, including seven straight away games, we are looking forward to the month of January where we open at home,” Ketchum said.

“But I think the long hard road trips against quality competition is something that is making us better,” the coach continued. “Right now, everyone needs a break.”

In preparation for Aspen’s home-opener against Delta Jan. 5, the team will resume two-a-day practices Jan. 2, he said.

Aspen plays its first Class 3A Western Slope League game Jan. 13 against Rangely.

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