Aspen, Basalt face off in rivalry games
The Aspen Times
High school basketball moves into rivalry mode this week.
The upper valley’s traditional showdown between Aspen and Basalt will return Saturday when the Skiers host the Longhorns.
First, both Aspen and Basalt will play key Western Slope League games tonight.
But the focus quickly will move to the Saturday rivalry matchups in the Aspen High School gymnasium.
In the first of two conference meetings this season, the Aspen girls will host the Longhorns at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The boys varsity game will follow at 4.
The teams will play again Feb. 20 at Basalt.
The Basalt-Aspen rivalry will feature a new twist this season, with former Basalt coaches now working the sidelines for Aspen.
Former longtime Basalt girls coach Debbie Alcorta took over as the head coach of the Aspen Skiers this season.
Saturday’s game will be the first for Alcorta leading the Skiers against the team she coached for nearly a decade.
Meanwhile on the boys’ side, Rolf Schildman is in his first season as the Aspen head coach. He coached the Basalt boys before taking over the Aspen girls program two years ago.
Schildman was named the head coach of the Aspen boys after Steve Ketchum stepped down after 17 seasons.
The weekend schedule also is critical in the Western Slope League standings.
The Aspen boys are 1-2 in conference play and 5-3 overall.
Tonight, the Aspen boys will take on Coal Ridge’s boys (1-3 in conference, 2-7 overall).
The Basalt boys are 2-6 overall and 0-5 in conference. They will face the conference co-leaders tonight at Grand Valley (4-0 in league, 8-1 overall). The Cardinals are ranked No. 7 in the state by ColoradoPreps.com.
On the girls’ side, Aspen will take a 1-2 league record to Coal Ridge tonight. The Aspen girls are 1-2 in conference and 1-6 overall. They will face the Titans, who are 2-7 overall and 2-2 in conference.
The Basalt girls will be looking for their first win this weekend. The Longhorns are 0-8 overall and 0-5 in conference.
The Olathe girls, ranked No. 7 in the state, lead the league at 5-0. They are 9-1 overall. Grand Valley and Moffat County are second in the girls league at 3-1.
Grand Valley and Moffat County lead the boys standings with 4-0 conference records. The Grand Valley boys are 8-1; Moffat’s boys are 6-3.
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One of the Demons’ key players, senior co-captain Graci Dietrich has severe hearing loss and relies on hand signs and lip-reading, rather than verbal communication, between her basketball teammates and coaches.