Aspen basketball teams test state-ranked foes
The Aspen Times
The tests get tougher this week for the Aspen High School basketball teams.
Like a series of challenging midterms, the Skiers will confront a pair of powerhouse state-ranked teams this weekend when the Western Slope League season hits full stride.
The first state-ranked test for the Skiers will come in the girls game against Olathe tonight at the AHS gymnasium.
The Aspen girls, coming off their emotional first victory of the season, will host the No. 9-ranked Olathe girls at 5:30 p.m. today. The Pirates, the No. 9 team in the coloradopreps.com Class 3A poll, will enter with a 6-1 overall record, 2-0 in the Western Slope League.
The Skiers, with defensive pressure throughout, beat Roaring Fork 26-24 in Carbondale last weekend to move to 1-4 on the season. The Skiers are 1-0 in conference play.
Olathe beat Grand Valley 41-27 and outran Moffat County 64-59 last weekend. The Pirates feature a balanced offense with four players averaging 8 or more points per game.
Taylor Gibson leads the way at 10.4 points per game. Theresa Tafoya (8.3), Taylor Brown (8.1) and Payton Grett (7.9) add to the offensive balance for the Pirates.
Sterling and Pagosa Springs continue to lead the girls 3A statewide poll at 1-2.
Manitou Springs is ranked No. 3.
Lutheran is at No. 4 with St. Mary’s at No. 5.
Eaton (6), La Junta (7), Faith Christian (8), Olathe (9) and Platte Valley (10) complete the girls poll this week.
In tonight’s boys game at 7 p.m. at Aspen High School, the AHS boys will attempt to rebound from a 60-49 loss at Roaring Fork in Carbondale last weekend.
The Aspen boys are 4-2 overall and 0-1 in the Western Slope League.
The Olathe boys will head to Aspen looking for their first win — 0-7, 0-2 in league.
But the records will change dramatically when the Aspen boys get their chance against a state-ranked opponent.
The Skiers will travel to Parachute on Saturday (4 p.m.) to take on No. 7 Grand Valley.
The Cardinals, featuring the highest-scoring duo in the conference in brothers Sam and John Parker, are 6-1 overall, 2-0 in league play,
John Parker tops the conference in scoring, averaging 26.0 points.
Brother John Parker is scoring 17.6 points per game.
And Tanner Magee is scoring 11.0 per game to give the Cardinals of head coach Scott Parker three scorers averaging in double figures.
But the Grand Valley boys will have a big test before they host the Skiers on Saturday.
First, the Cardinals must play at Roaring Fork tonight in a showdown of two 2-0 conference foes.
Saturday’s schedule calls for the varsity girls game at 2:30 p.m. in Parachute with the boys varsity to follow.
While Grand Valley is at No. 7 in the Class 3A boys poll, Colorado Springs Christian continues to lead the way at No. 1.
Faith Christian is ranked No. 2 with Jefferson Academy at No. 3.
Lutheran is at No. 4, followed by Colorado Academy (5), Kent Denver (6) and Grand Valley (7).
Bayfield is ranked No. 8 with Sterling (9) and Alamosa (10) rounding out the coloradopreps.com rankings.
The Basalt High School teams, meanwhile, are scheduled for two big road trips this weekend.
The Basalt girls and boys teams will play at Moffat County today and at Gunnison on Saturday.
Let’s make some skiing predictions. I made my X Games snowboarding predictions a day earlier and remain only mildly lukewarm in terms of confidence, but maybe I’ll feel better about the skiers.