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Kerr leads Skiers to win

Ben Husband

After falling into a scoring slump in his last five games, Sasa Miletic finally came alive Thursday for the Aspen High School boys’ basketball team.

And his timing couldn’t have come at better time.

Hosting Meeker in the first round of the Class 3A District tournament, Aspen’s sophomore reserve guard exploded for 16 points, helping the Skiers to a convincing 79-58 thrashing of the Cowboys.

Aspen’s Ryan Kerr led his team with 22 points.

“I thought we played fantastic in the first half,”first-year coach Steve Ketchum said. “We played much better than I had anticipated – we put them [Meeker] away early.

“The game was over at halftime and we knew it, so we were able to work on some things and give our key players a good rest.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Ketchum said.

Aspen, the second seed out of the Western Slope Conference behind league winner Eagle Valley, will travel to Central High School in Grand Junction today for the second round of the District Tournament.

The Skiers will play third-seeded Olathe, which defeated Rangely (sixth seed) 54-44 Thursday night. Aspen defeated Olathe earlier this year.

“For me as a coach, I think the toughest game to win in any tournament is the first-round game,” Ketchum said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. So if we can get past the sometimes nervous tension we have opening the game, I think we’ll be ready to play – it’s going to be tough.”

The Skiers began the game on a slow scoring pace. Then Miletic came into the game and broke it open with a 3-pointer on his first shot to give the Skiers a 16-13 lead.

Miletic finished the period with seven points, giving Aspen a comfortable 25-13 lead heading into the second period.

After Aspen scored six points – on layups from Jeff Brence, Miletic and Harris Mufson – to take a 31-20 lead, the Skiers really ignited.

Aspen went on a 18-0 scoring tear that began on a deep 3-pointer by Kerr – his first of four from downtown.

Kerr added seven points in Aspen’s scoring spree while fellow senior Lucas Farrell added five, including a 3-pointer of his own to help AHS take a commanding 49-20 halftime lead.

Aspen only scored 11 points in the third period, but erupted again for 19 in the final period behind seven more points from Kerr.

Kerr’s 22 points was a season high. Senior center Stefan Koenes added 14, and Farrell finished with 11.


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