AHS girls baskeball locks up home playoff game
After closing out the regular season over the weekend with two key wins on the road, the Aspen High girls basketball team secured the fourth seed in the district playoffs and a home game in the opening round. As if that wasn’t enough, Aspen will host rival Basalt, seeded fifth in the Class 3A Western Slope League district playoffs, Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the AHS gym.”We’re just hoping we can continue to figure Basalt out,” said Aspen coach Dave Conarroe.Aspen beat the Lady Longhorns in both of their match-ups earlier this season, 43-32 on the road in January, and 47-37 at home in February.The Skiers won four of their last five games in the regular season, including a 40-37 overtime win over Gunnison Friday night, and a 43-32 victory over Olathe Saturday.Led by their lone senior Liz Floyd, who scored 30 points in the last two games, Aspen finished the regular season 6-6 in the 3A WSL and 11-8 overall.”She’s just dominating games and she’s got the girls playing well with her,” Conarroe said.Junior Carly Magill, normally a defensive weapon and ball control specialist, has become an offensive leader toward the end of the season, highlighted by a team best 14 points against Gunnison.”We rely so much on defense, so to get that scoring punch out of Carly, that was nice,” Conarroe said.Junior Brittany Fortier has been a rebounding machine all season, and Corie Thompson, a junior, has been a force in the interior.”We’ve got good ball handling with Carly, inside muscle with Corey, Brittany’s a good all around player, plus she can handle the ball, and Liz might be one of the best players in the league,” Conarroe said. “We’ve got pretty good team balance.”If Aspen wins Tuesday night, they will advance to the final four in the district playoffs, which consists of seven teams, and receive an automatic bid in the regional round of the state playoffs. Top seed Roaring Fork has a first round bye, and has already received a bid to regionals. If the Skiers lose Tuesday night, their season is over.”I encourage the town to come out, it’s been a while since Aspen’s hosted a playoff game,” Conarroe said. “It’s nice to come home and play in front of your fans.”
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.