Girls basketball: Aspen rebounds to beat Hotchkiss | AspenTimes.com

Girls basketball: Aspen rebounds to beat Hotchkiss

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

Greg Peterson nearly wore out the new floor in the Aspen High School gymnasium Thursday night, pacing in front of the Skiers' bench.

When the AHS girls coach finally sat down, the Skiers were celebrating their first victory of the season — a 35-28 win over the visiting Hotchkiss Bulldogs.

"We played good defense, first and foremost. That's really what won the game," Peterson said after his first victory at the helm of the Aspen girls.

"Then, I thought we got a little tired," Peterson said.

But not before taking a 17-3 halftime lead by holding the Bulldogs scoreless in the second quarter.

"In the first half, we focused on trying to take our time (on offense)," Peterson said, encouraging patience as the Skiers entered the ball into the post.

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"It paid off," Peterson said as Cliara Sanchez had three inside baskets and Mckenna Woodrow added two more inside baskets in the second quarter.

"We got inside … and it got us easy second-chance shots; we were in the right position to get the rebounds," Peterson said.

But a scoring drought in the third quarter made the game closer as Hotchkiss scored 14 points in the period.

The Aspen lead slipped to six points with one period to play.

"The second half, not so much for us," Peterson said. "But then we got our timing back."

With Hotchkiss threatening, the Skiers got baskets from Woodrow, Jessica Furr and Sanchez in the fourth quarter.

But most of their damage came at the foul line when Marissa Buchholz hit on 5-of-6 free throws in the final minutes of the game.

"Marissa was super on the foul line," said Peterson, who also had to battle foul trouble with his inside players.

Woodrow led the way with 11 points and nine rebounds. She also had three blocked shots.

Sanchez contributed 10 points. Claire Boronski added four. Claire O'Sullivan scored three.

"All in all, I couldn't ask for much better at this point in the season," Peterson said. "We're making a quantum shift."

The Aspen girls (1-2) matched their win total from all of last season with the Thursday night win over Hotchkiss (0-4).

dstrode@aspentimes.com