Aspen boys basketball holds off Basalt in rivalry game; Longhorn girls roll in win
The Aspen High School basketball teams renewed their rivalry with Basalt on Tuesday inside the BHS gymnasium. The Longhorn girls continued their long winning streak over the Skiers, while the AHS boys made it three straight over Basalt in a close game.
ASPEN BOYS 54, BASALT 48
Trailing at halftime, the Skiers found another gear late to rally back for a 54-48 win over the Longhorns.
“We told them from the jump, in my three-and-a-half years here, Basalt has never not showed up to play Aspen, regardless of how good their team is that year,” fourth-year AHS coach Alex Schrempf said. “They always show up to play the best ball they are going to play against us and they played good. We started slow and we were not playing well together in the first half.”
Basalt, the big underdogs based off records entering the game, led 25-22 at halftime, outscoring the Skiers 13-6 in the first quarter. The Longhorns still led 35-34 going into the fourth quarter before the Skiers took over with a 20-point final frame.
Aspen senior Jonathan Woodrow, in his first game back from injury, scored 12 points in the fourth quarter alone to help propel the Skiers to the win.
“We came together in the last five minutes,” Schrempf said. “We finally got Woodrow back and he had a string of buckets for us we needed and we got some big stops. Aidan Ledingham got some huge rebounds at the very end, and we were able to squeeze that one out, luckily.”
With the win, Aspen improved to 9-4 overall. The nine wins match a season best for the program under Schrempf, who went 9-12 in his first season. AHS hasn’t won double-digit games in a single season since going 19-5 in 2013-14, the final season under coach Steve Ketchum.
“If we keep turning it around and stepping forward, I think we have a good chance to get a few more,” Schrempf said.
It was the third straight win for Aspen over Basalt. The Longhorns had won the seven games before that.
Basalt fell to 1-11 overall after losing its eighth straight game.
“They find a way to win. They’ve learned how to win and it’s a credit to them and I’m excited for us to get to that step,” first-year Basalt coach Clint Hunter said of Aspen. “It’s a good sign. I think the guys are ready to get past the moral victories. We’ve got to continue to focus on the process and realize when we are doing well, what are the small things we are doing.”
BASALT GIRLS 52, ASPEN 21
In the girls game, it was Basalt that came out slow before pulling away late against its upvalley rival. The Longhorns only led 12-10 after a quarter but were ahead 30-13 at halftime thanks to an 18-3 run in the second quarter.
“Aspen played a really great first quarter against us. We had low energy and they came out firing and making a lot of their shots,” second-year Basalt coach Amy Contini said. “We were able to pull away a little after that. But overall they played a really tough game against us. We were missing three girls tonight, but we’ve been having a lot of great younger girls stepping up into some playing time.”
Basalt held Aspen to a combined eight points in the second half as it rolled to another victory over the Skiers. BHS hasn’t lost to Aspen since the 2013-14 season.
AHS fell to 3-7 overall, while Basalt improved to 6-4 overall. The six wins match their win total from last season, when the Longhorns finished 6-15 overall. BHS hasn’t won seven games in a single season since finishing 7-14 overall in 2009-10.
Basalt has now won three straight since losing back-to-back games to Coal Ridge and Delta to open league play.
“When we went through the Coal Ridge and the Delta game, we talked a lot about either getting up and fighting back or if we were going to sit there and take it,” Contini said. “This team is deep and we are doing it together. Everyone’s got their job and everyone is doing their job. It’s been a lot of fun these last few games.”
Next up, both Aspen and Basalt will be on the road Friday, AHS at Olathe and BHS at Cedaredge.