AHS girls apply pressure in first game of season

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

CARBONDALE — Pressure. Pressure. Pressure.

The Aspen High School girls basketball team set out to establish its new identity Friday afternoon in the first game of the annual Brenda Patch Tournament at Roaring Fork High School.

The new season, the new Skiers, the new head coach set the tone from the first tip of the season.


Full-court press.

And defense.

The Aspen girls forced scores of turnovers with their defenses under new head coach Debbie Alcorta.

The Class 4A Steamboat Sailors, in spite of the turnovers, scored early and used the early lead en route to a 44-21 win over the Skiers.

“I’m very excited about our game … the press,” Alcorta said. “I’m especially excited because these girls have never pressed before. It’s a new concept for them.”

The Skiers had trouble converting the early turnovers into points as Steamboat worked to a 12-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

With five different players scoring in the second quarter, the Sailors advanced to a 23-8 halftime lead.

“We went in at halftime, and I told the girls that the team that comes into our gym at 6 a.m. every day and works hard is not the team that started this game,” Alcorta said. “We set some goals for us in the second half.”

The Skiers responded with an eight-point third quarter.

And Aspen outscored Steamboat Springs 5-4 in a defensive-minded final quarter.

“What we need to do is once we force a turnover, we need to learn how to execute and score off of that turnover,” Alcorta said. “That will be the next step in our building process.”

Megan Hanson and Cliara Sanchez scored fourth-quarter baskets after the Skiers forced the Sailors into turnovers.

Hanson added a foul shot on her basket for a 3-point play for Aspen. She finished with five points.

McKenna Woodrow led the Skiers with six points. She added a game-high 10 rebounds and five blocked shots in Friday afternoon’s opener.

Olivia Crawford scored three points with seven rebounds against Steamboat Springs

Jessica Coxon, with seven rebounds, added a basket for Aspen as did Marissa Buchholz.

One of Woodrow’s baskets came on a crowd-pleasing screen-and-roll executed with Jessica Furr.

The Skiers, in all, forced Steamboat into 22 turnovers Friday afternoon.

Annie Osbourn led the Sailors with 10 points, including nine in the third quarter.

“I felt like in the last four and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, we really came alive,” said Alcorta, the former Basalt girls coach. “It started to click.

“If we would have played the entire game like the last four and a half minutes, it would have been a different ball game … a completely different ball game,” she said.

The Aspen girls will return to court at Roaring Fork ton Saturday for a 2 p.m. game against Class 4A Rifle.

The Aspen boys also will play again Saturday. They will take on Class 4A Eagle Valley in a 3:30 p.m. game at the Roaring Fork High School gym just south of Carbondale on Highway 133.