Lady Skiers advance with win over Devils |

Lady Skiers advance with win over Devils

Ben Husband

The Aspen High School girls’ basketball team got an early scare from Eagle Valley Thursday, but the Skiers pulled out the win, and the chance to defend the District title they won last year.

The defending District and Regional champion Skiers defeated Eagle Valley 64-56 in the first round of the Class 3A tournament at the Skierdome.

Sophomore point guard Ellen Falender paced the Skiers with 20 points, her second-highest total of the year.

Aspen travels to Grand Junction today for the second round of the District tourney at Central High School.

The Skiers will play top-seeded Rangely, which defeated ninth-seeded Meeker 63-39 last night.

Today’s second-round game is scheduled to tip off at 3:30 p.m.

“This is a big confidence booster for us heading into District,” Aspen coach Brent Waldron said after the win. “I thought we played a great game of basketball and I think that will help us going into the next round.”

Although the Skiers came away with a win, it wasn’t easy.

The Devils jumped out to a 9-7 first-quarter lead, holding Aspen scoreless for the first three minutes of the game.

In the second period, Eagle Valley jumped out to a 17-12 lead before the Skiers finally came together after Eagle Valley’s Jamie Mayne – the Devils’ leading scorer and rebounder – picked up her fourth foul. Aspen led 24-23 at the break.

In the third period, Aspen’s offense went nuts as the Skiers built a 46-35 lead midway through the period en route to a 48-37 lead at the end of three.

Junior guard Kelli Dangler connected for two 3-pointers and a fastbreak lay-up, and fellow junior Jill Evans added two 3-pointers in the scoring onslaught.

The Devils cut the Skier lead to six midway through the final period at 57-51, but Aspen managed to hold on to the lead and grab the win.

“I thought we showed a lot of character and a lot of poise,” Waldron said. “We will be ready for the next game.”

Dangler finished with 16 points, while Evans had 10 and Rebecca Anderson nine.

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