Falender leads Lady Skiers to big win over Cedaredge
Ellen Falender began the rout and the sister duo of Nicole and Cory Reno finished it.
Hosting Cedaredge Saturday, Falender and the Reno combo combined for 41 points as the Aspen High School girls’ basketball team crushed the Bruins 57-26 at the Skierdome.
The win lifts the Skiers to 6-1 in the Western Slope Conference – and to third in the WSC standings behind Rangely and Roaring Fork, both tied for first at 7-0. Aspen is 11-3 overall.
Struggling Cedaredge remains winless at 0-7 in the league play and 0-14 overall.
Falender, who spent most of the first part of the season either trying to find her shot or on the bench for four games with a broken foot, erupted Saturday against the Bruins.
The sophomore almost single-handedly derailed Cedaredge as she scored a career-high 25 points, including the game’s first 12, en route to 14 first-quarter points.
And late in the game, Nicole Reno (senior) and Cory Reno (sophomore) put the final nails in Cedaredge’s coffin. The sisters combined to score all of Aspen’s final 10 points in the final period.
Ellen catches fire early
Falender opened the game on fire, chalking up Aspen’s first 12 points and leading the Skiers to a 18-4 lead heading into the second period.
Then, the speedy sophomore, who also recorded five steals, added another six points as the Skiers went into the locker room with a commanding 34-14 lead.
Nicole Reno and juniors Rebecca Anderson, Kelli Dangler and Jill Evans also added buckets for AHS.
In the third period, Falender scored her final five points on two fastbreak layups and a free throw. She missed four layups and a chance to top the 30-point mark.
“Man, I can’t hit a layup,” she said with a smile walking off the floor late in the final period to a round of applause from the crowd.
Friday night, the Skiers traveled to Hotchkiss and defeated the Bulldogs, 43-28.
Dangler scored 12 for the Skiers in the win.
The Skiers travel to Battle Mountain Friday (6:30 p.m.) then host Meeker Saturday at the Skierdome for a 4:30 p.m. matchup.
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.