Top teams teach Aspen girls hoops team tough lesson |

Top teams teach Aspen girls hoops team tough lesson

Aspen Times Staff Report

After dishing out a 66-point rout in the opening game of a tournament at Steamboat Springs this weekend, the tide turned for the Aspen High School girls basketball team.

In the opening game of the eight-team tournament Thursday, Aspen beat the smaller, Class 2A Platte Canyon 86-20.

“They were a weaker team, but we hit everything we took,” said Aspen coach Lance Finkbeiner. “We couldn’t miss; we shot over 50 percent from the field.”

Senior Cory Reno led the Skiers in scoring, knocking down 19 points. Guard Ellen Falender added 15 points, and Zara Podolak and Lizzie Suiter each had 13 points.

On Friday, Aspen lost 50-25 to Conifer, the No. 2-ranked team in the larger Class 4A.

“They were incredible,” Finkbeiner said. “They’ll probably be in the state championship.”

Aspen’s Suiter led the team in scoring with 8 points, though Finkbeiner said Aspen didn’t have “a lot of highlights.”

On Saturday, playing in the consolation finals for third place, Aspen dropped a close game 58-46 to Grand Junction, a larger, Class 5A school.

“We got off to a bad start,” Finkbeiner said, “but we had a good run in the fourth quarter to make it a pretty close game. We were frustrated from Saturday’s loss, but the girls never gave up. They played their hearts out and finished strong.”

Reno led Aspen in scoring with 11 points, followed by Podolak and Suiter with 8 points each.

Finkbeiner said Aspen’s two losses will benefit the team down the road.

“Our losses were to really, really good teams,” he said. “It’s disappointing, but at the same time it’s going to make us better. I think we gained some confidence and we can learn from it.”

Aspen’s overall record dropped to 4-3 over the weekend, though the team has yet to begin playing its league schedule.

Aspen plays at Grand Valley Tuesday night.

“Our losses were to really, really good teams. It’s disappointing, but at the same time it’s going to make us better.” – Lance Finkbeiner, Aspen coach

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