Skiers, Horns dominate all-league picks | AspenTimes.com
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Skiers, Horns dominate all-league picks

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Colorado prep basketball season officially concluded with last weekend’s State Tournaments in Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, but there was still some unfinished business to attend to. Namely, the awarding of the 3A Western Slope League all-conference, coach of the year and player of the year honors.

As they did all season long, the Aspen and Basalt girls dominated the league, accounting for five of the 15 players selected to the all-conference first team. In addition, a Skier and a Longhorn slugged it out for player of the year recognition, with Aspen’s Jill Evans narrowly outpointing Basalt’s Kelli Corrigan in voting by the league’s coaches to claim the honor.

Evans, a senior and repeat all-conference selection from last year, led Aspen in scoring as the Skiers put together the most successful season in school history with a run to the state championship game.

Corrigan, also a senior, provided the Longhorns with a physical post presence and scoring punch as Basalt took second in the league’s regular-season standings and hosted a Regional championship game.

Joining Evans and Corrigan on the first team were Aspen junior point guard Ellen Falender, who led the state in assists, and Basalt’s Ambere Cunningham, a senior guard, and junior guard Heather Kappeli.

Rounding out the girls all-conference first team were two Roaring Fork players, junior Ren Udall and sophomore Emily Markham, Clarissa Sandoval of Battle Mountain, Gunnison’s Cori Curtis and Summer Fraser, Michaela Kenkel of Hotchkiss, Olathe’s Nicole Stender and Jade Brown, and Nicole Sprunger and Tonya Miller of Rangely.

Three Skiers and two Longhorns were also named to the girls all-conference honorable mention list. Seniors Rebecca Anderson, Kelli Dangler and Marta Losonczy were chosen to represent Aspen while Ingrid Brucker and Kate LaMaster were similarly honored for Basalt.

Other honorable mention recipients were Claire Griffith and Shayna Rippy of Roaring Fork, Olathe’s Lindsay Gray and Ambere Allen, Devon Widner of Rangely, Marian Bescker of Gunnison, Eagle Valley’s Sheana Speakman and Allison Toomer, Peggy Smith of Hotchkiss, Laura Haslee of Battle Mountain, Tess Owen of Cedaredge, Paonia’s Liza Russell and Amanda Tate of Meeker.

Olathe coach Darren Sofka, who led the Pirates to a third-place finish in the league standings, was chosen as the league’s coach of the year.

On the boys side of the coin, Ty Sterkel of league regular-season champion Eagle Valley garnered player of the year honors.

Joining Sterkel on the all-conference first team were Michael Palmer and Jack Lutzeier of Basalt and Aspen senior power forward and co-captain Robert Tomaszek.

Palmer, a senior, was the Longhorns main offensive weapon this season, and Lutzeier, a junior, emerged as Basalt’s most potent 3-point threat. Tomaszek finished among the state’s leaders in scoring and rebounding as he helped the Skiers to a Regional championship game.

Roaring Fork placed two players, seniors Kris Fahrenkrug and Chris Scott, on the first team, and Sterkel’s Eagle Valley teammate, Matt Wood, was also named to the squad.

Rounding out the first team were Josh Henry of Battle Mountain, Gunnison’s Jess Leonetti and Justin Tate, Robert Hank of Hotchkiss, Matt Bush of Cedaredge, Randy Williams of Olathe, Meeker’s Billy Bibb, Adam Todd of Paonia and Rangely’s Mark Skelton.

Aspen’s four remaining starters were all chosen to the all-conference honorable mention list, led by senior guard and co-captain Corey Robinson.

Junior guard Duncan Delano, sophomore forward Jeff Brence and freshman point guard Nick Farrell also made the list for the Skiers.

Basalt had two honorable mention players, seniors Edwin Piper and Neil Broome, as did Roaring Fork with Trenton Cheney and John Neilsen.

Cory Nolan, Micah Bernhardt and Nate Rioux of Eagle Valley were also honorable mention selections, joining Olathe’s Daniel Schmalz and Jimmy Louato, Cedaredge’s Nick Stites and Jake Brooks, Tim Barton of Gunnison and Noah Schum of Hotchkiss.

Coach of the year voting resulted in a three-way tie between Phil Cain, who piloted Eagle Valley to the 3A WSL regular-season title, Cedaredge coach Von Mitchel and Olathe head man Andy Hanks.


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