Huskies sweep Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Huskies sweep Aspen

Chris Freud
Vail correspondent

Aspen's Brittany Fortier brings the ball up against Battle Mountain's Kelsey Sanders on Tuesday in Eagle-Vail. The Huskies won, 49-44. (Bret Hartman/Vail Daily)

EAGLE-VAIL ” The Aspen boys basketball team got a look at Battle Mountain’s twin towers Tuesday night, and the Skiers didn’t like what they saw.

Connor Drumm had 21 points and seven rebounds, while Trent Beckley scored 20 and pulled 14 off the glass as the Huskies cruised, 66-49.

“Those two guys were great. They’re fantastic,” Aspen coach Steven Ketchum said. “They’re really hard to stop. We did a nice job in the second half of helping out more. In the first half we didn’t, and they killed us. … That team will probably win their league, the 4A Western Slope. Thank God, we’re not in their league.”

“We decided that we were going to pound it inside. Connor and Trent both got off to a good start,” Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue said. “We’re just going to keep pounding it inside, getting our guards warmed up, and get the perimeter shot when we need that.”

Drumm had 15 in the first half, while Beckley had 11, and the Huskies were off to the races. Battle Mountain led, 36-22, after 16 minutes after Derek Rush hit Drumm for a beautiful layup at the buzzer.

“They’re going to bring a double team one way, and that leaves the other guy open,” Beckley said. “They had to figure out something, but they couldn’t. It’s so much stronger having it on both sides than just one side.”

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Battle Mountain also had nice contributions from its outside game with strong performances from Rush, Josh Ruark, T.J. Montoya, Gustavo Bronfield and Clay Wilson.

“It’s kids stepping up,” Beckley said. “Earlier in the season, we didn’t know about the perimeter game, but they’re playing really, really well. They didn’t have many turnovers tonight. They brought the ball up well. They broke the press real well, and when they needed to hit a shot, they did.”

Luke Gosda led Aspen (2-4 )with 16 points. The Skiers are at Rangely at 7 p.m. Friday. Meanwhile, the Huskies (5-1) are off until Tuesday when they’re at Lutheran.

“I like to go on the road,” Tronsrue said. “Last weekend [at Pagosa Springs] was good. If you get in the playoffs, you get two games at home, then you’ve got to hit the road. So, you need to learn to go into unfriendly confines and take the harassment and the yelling and screaming and be able to perform. Pagosa[‘s fans] did that. Lutheran’s going to do the same thing. It’s going to be a good test.”

Maybe Battle Mountain girls basketball thought that game time was 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night against Aspen.

“I don’t think so,” Huskies coach Ernesto Arredondo said with a laugh.

He could joke about it afterward as the Huskies overcame a 22-11 halftime deficit, took over in the third quarter and staved off the Skiers in the end, 49-44.

Battle Mountain’s Kelsey Sanders, who along with teammate Lauren Prewitt, had 17 points, proved to be the spark plug. Sanders scored nine of Battle Mountain’s first 11 points in the second half to tie the game at 22.

“We knew that Kelsey was getting open and they weren’t going to play her,” Arredondo said. “We looked for Kelsey to take the shot. We also looked inside. It wasn’t working at all, but we finally figured it out and got our big girl [Prewitt] to go. They didn’t give up.”

Sanders, as were all the Huskies, was off the mark in the first half. Many of her shots in the first 16 minutes were long.

“I wasn’t getting set,” she said “We need to swing the ball more. When we swung, I got the open shot and that was it. After my last 3, I was so excited.”

Jesse Jacobson capped the third quarter with a jumper to tie it at 29. Max Van Dyke hit two free throws to start the fourth, and Battle Mountain had the lead for good.

Prewitt, solid from the line, as well as displaying a deft touch with her jump shot, had Battle Mountain leading 38-29 halfway through the final period.

Aspen kept firing, though. Treys by Brittany Fortier and Julia Hassell and another bucket from Fortier pulled Aspen within 46-44 with five seconds to go. Fortier led Aspen with 14 points.

But the Skiers’ emotions got the best of them at the end of the game. Skiers coach Dave Conarroe had not been pleased throughout the second half with the officiating. The buildup of his debating with the refs, as well as a Aspen player kicking the bench, drew the Skiers a technical and that iced the game.

“I don’t know. We didn’t do anything different and the foul count is totally reversed,” Conarroe said. “I don’t understand how a team cannot change a thing, and all of a sudden, the foul count is triple what it was in the first half. I don’t understand that. … The officials called the game differently and we didn’t adjust. That’s all I can say.

Aspen (3-3) is at Rangely at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

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