Skiers girls open with victory | AspenTimes.com

Skiers girls open with victory

Chadwick Bowman
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Chadwick Bowman/The Aspen TimesThe Skiers' Bailey Everhart leaps for a rebound Friday against visiting Eagle Valley.

ASPEN – The Skiers girls jumped out to an early lead in their season opener Friday night at home and never looked back.

Eagle Valley came to town as part of the Aspen Invitational and lost, 38-26. The 4A Devils struggled with the high energy that the Skiers brought in front of the home crowd.

“I loved the way the girls competed,” head coach Jeremy Haack said.

The story of the game was Aspen’s ability not only to get to the free throw line, but to convert.

Senior Bailey Everhart was able to get to the line often, making seven of her first eight. She finished with nine points – seven in the first half. Everhart’s aggressive rebounding and ability to create shots inside the lane and get fouled was a spark in the first quarter that staked the Skiers to an early lead.

“We took advantage of our opportunities at the free throw line. That’s huge,” Haack said.

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The Skiers went into halftime with only a four-point cushion, but they came out fast in the second half.

Senior Savannah Johnson had four quick points, forcing the Devils to call an early timeout after the break. Johnson finished with nine points.

“The way we started the third quarter set the tone for the rest of the game,” Haack said. “I thought we did a better job in the second half taking care of the ball. The first half, I think pre-game jitters got us a little bit.”

The second half also had aggressive play from senior Olivia Porcaro, who also finished with nine points. It seemed that every time there was a loose ball, she was on the ground making a play for it or wrestling with a Devils player.

“It’s about the team, you know. They believed and they competed tonight and that’s great,” Haack said.

The coach was happy with the play from the team, especially early in the young season, but said they still need to work on a few things.

The Skiers lost their home opener to Eagle Valley last year and won just five of 20 games.

“They got us the first game last year and I’m not going to lie, that’s a really good team,” Haack said. “Our girls competed, they believed in themselves and they created a lot of opportunities.”

The Skiers host 4A Battle Mountain at 4 p.m. Saturday.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com