Defensive pressure nets win for AHS boys |

Defensive pressure nets win for AHS boys

Aspen Times Staff Report

One conference game.

One conference victory.

The Aspen boys tipped off the 3A Western Slope Conference season last weekend with a defensive-minded 59-44 victory over Rangely at the Skierdome.

“Our defensive effort was outstanding,” said head coach Steve Ketchum, after his Skiers improved to 7-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

“We knew coming in that Rangely was another scary team … they were 1-5. But they had just beaten Eagle Valley – a very, very good team – the night before.

“And their losses had come to good teams – teams like Delta and Rifle,” Ketchum added.

He said the coaching staff challenged the Skiers to step up on defense and the team responded.

A rapid-fire combination of defenses by the Skiers frustrated the Panthers in the first quarter as they managed only three points. The Skiers, meanwhile, scored 15 and the tone was set.

At one point, the Skiers led by 18 before settling on a 10-point halftime margin.

“Rangely is extremely aggressive,” Ketchum said. “But we rebounded pretty well, too.”

“And Corey (Robinson) had another great game for us … just a great game,” Ketchum said of his senior guard. He finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

His two-point field-goal shooting was 4-for-4 in the game, Ketchum said.

“He was outstanding for us. And he played the whole game.”

Robert Tomaszek, Aspen’s 6-8 foreign exchange center, led all scorers with 20 points and 15 rebounds – yet it wasn’t one of his best games, according to Ketchum.

Duncan Delano added nine points for Aspen and Jeff Brence also scored nine for the Skiers.

Freshman point guard Nick Farrell added 6.

Cody Reich scored 11 to lead Rangely, a team that stunned Eagle Valley 74-60 earlier last weekend.

The Skiers’ balanced scoring included quarter totals of 15, 16, 15 and 13 points.

Robinson and Delano each hit two 3-pointers for the Aspen attack.

This week the Skiers prepare for a couple of key road trips, including Friday games at Paonia and Saturday showdown at Eagle Valley.

“That should be a great environment when we go over to Eagle Valley. They’ll go crazy over there. It’ll be exciting,” he said of the anticipated showdown.

In other area boys basketball action over the weekend, the Basalt Longhorns bounced back from an upset loss to Olathe Friday night with a big win over Gunnison on Saturday.

Olathe shocked the Horns 57-52 at the Bighouse on Friday night.

But the Horns rallied for a 65-53 victory over the Cowboys on Saturday, led by 17 points from Michael Palmer and 14 from Neil Broome.

Jake Lutzeier, with three treys, added 12 for Basalt.

Ki Mulcahy and Edwin Piper added 10 each for the Longhorns.

Jess Leonetti led Gunnison with 16.

A night earlier against Olathe, Palmer led Basalt with 13 points.

Randy Williams paced Olathe with 17. Daniels Schmalz added 15.

The Longhorns will host Meeker before traveling to Paonia next weekend.

In other valley action, the Roaring Fork boys won two-of-three over the weekend. The Rams beat Paonia 73-45 and Meeker 54-35 in conference games in Carbondale last weekend.

And on Saturday afternoon, the Rams dropped a nonconference game against Moffat County 62-48.

For a roundup of the girls basketball action in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, see the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of The Aspen Times.

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