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AHS girls blending old and new

Tim Mutrie

When the Aspen High girls basketball team takes the floor tonight in their season-opener, the Skiers will be playing a new system under a new head coach.Longtime Aspen High teacher and coach Dave Conarroe, the AHS girls head coach from 1976 to 1991, is back on the bench, replacing beloved coach Lance Finkbeiner, who stepped down during the offseason.”We’ve got some talented girls and Lance has left me with a strong team,” said Conarroe, whose Skiers tip off with West Grand of Kremmling tonight at 6:30 p.m. at home on the opening day of the Aspen Invitational.”But I don’t know if we’re any good or not. It’s been a long time since I’ve studied girls basketball. Relatively speaking, though, I like our chances.”The Skiers will be anchored by junior point guard Carly Magill – “She’s as fast as they come” – and “tough forwards” Liz Floyd, the lone senior, and Corie Thompson, a junior, according to Conarroe.Last year’s squad was 13-10 overall.”The girls are understandably worried about [perennial powers] Basalt and Roaring Fork. But I think we can do things that cause problems for them,” said Conarroe. “Carly Magill’s going to be tough to deal with, and [junior] Carly Rosen at the other guard is a decent three-point shooter. Then we’ve got [junior] Brittany Fortier, who has come on like gangbusters this year.”Sophomores Reghan Mahaffey and Ashley Ryan will likely come off the bench to bolster the team, according to the coach.”We’re in a situation where we’re trying to teach and be competitive both, and keep everybody interested. It’s a challenge, but it’s fun. The girls seem pretty excited to play and that’s a good thing.”On Saturday, the AHS girls face Eagle Valley at 4 p.m. in their second and final game of the Aspen Invitational. The following weekend, Dec. 9-11, the Skiers head to the Steamboat Invitational. “This first weekend, it could look pretty chaotic, but I think we’ll be all right,” said Conarroe. “We’re trying to install new stuff, and we’re trying to mesh that with the stuff they liked to do with Lance. We’ll need some time, but, again, I like our chances. We’ll win some games and we’ll know a lot more after this first weekend about where we stand.”Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is mutrie@aspentimes.com


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