AHS boys b-ball on track after Roaring Fork shocker
A week after its six-game winning streak in the new year was snapped by Roaring Fork, the Aspen High boys basketball team rebounded Tuesday night with a 68-50 win over Basalt.
Aspen, 8-2 in Class 3A Western Slope League play and 11-4 overall, opened up a 17-point lead over Basalt (6-4, 6-9) at halftime en route to the home-court win, according to Aspen coach Steve Ketchum.
Aspen senior Nick Farrell posted triple-double numbers with 17 points, about 12 assists and 9 or 10 rebounds, Ketchum said.
“Nick was just awesome,” Ketchum said. “And once again he had four or five steals, and he’s playing unselfish too, getting everybody involved.”
Ten players scored for Aspen, including four in double-digits. Seniors Zac Paris and Phil Salazar had 11 and 10 points, respectively, and junior Moss Schermerhorn contributed 10 in what Ketchum called “his best game of the year.”
“We were making the extra pass, playing unselfish, and when you do that, everybody’s level goes up,” Ketchum said.
“We’d won six in a row in the new year playing very unselfish basketball, but when we faced Carbondale [Jan. 28], everything changed. The kids were selfish, show-boating, and we didn’t have any intensity so Carbondale handed us a butt-whooping on our home court which kinda shocked us.”
Ketchum called a team meeting the next day. “I told them not to come out of the room until they had it all hashed out; just lay everything out on the table and get it over with. And they stayed in that room for 45 minutes,” Ketchum said.
Aspen rebounded Saturday with a win on the road at Hotchkiss, and the momentum carried over into Tuesday versus Basalt.
“Everybody’s happy and pulling for each other now,” said Ketchum, “thinking of teammates over self.”
On Friday Aspen travels to Eagle Valley (3-6, 4-10) for the first of four remaining league games on the regular season schedule. Basalt, meanwhile, hosts Cedaredge (9-0, 13-1) on Friday at 8 p.m.
Aspen and Roaring Fork are in second place in the league standings with two league losses apiece, with Basalt in fourth place, behind No. 1 Cedaredge which remains undefeated in league play at 9-0. Aspen hosts Cedaredge Feb. 21 in its regular season finale.
“If we win the remainder of our games, I’m confident we’ll be the second seed going into the [league] tournament, which is exactly where we want to be.
“The key for us is to continue playing unselfish basketball, and to play hard,” Ketchum continued. “There’s nobody, including Cedaredge, that we cannot beat. But the minute we start playing selfish basketball, there’s nobody that can’t beat us.”
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Skico CEO Mike Kaplan emphasized in a virtual address that this upcoming skiing season will be as spread out as possible with limited personal interaction in order to avoid potential COVID-19 infections and keep the mountains open.