Aspen boys basketball beats Basalt to end losing streak; Longhorn girls win
The losing streak finally ended for the Aspen High School boys basketball team against its rival on Thursday, but that didn’t come with any sort of contentment.
“I expected some confetti or something. Honestly, it feels really good because they deserved it. Their effort deserved it,” AHS coach Alex Schrempf said. “We looked at it as there are a lot of positives, but it is not 100 percent satisfactory by any means. Still a lot of things we need to clean up.”
The Aspen boys travelled downvalley and beat host Basalt in the regular-season finale on Thursday, a 47-39 win that snapped a seven-game skid to the Longhorns.
The Skiers hadn’t beaten Basalt since a win on Feb. 19, 2015, according to MaxPreps, before Schrempf became coach.
More importantly, the win means Aspen will host Saturday’s 2 p.m. district play-in game against the Longhorns. AHS finished 2-7 in Class 3A Western Slope League play and will be the No. 8 seed, while Basalt finished 1-8 and will be the No. 9 seed.
“In two days we get to find out if this one really did hurt. Every victory, every loss, it’s always a learning opportunity,” BHS coach C.P. Martinez said. “I keep telling them, we were up one there at the half because we decided to fight back. And they just need to start seeing that and believing that.”
The Longhorns led 19-18 at halftime against Aspen on Thursday. The difference came in the third quarter, when AHS outscored Basalt 15-3 to pull ahead by 11 points entering the final quarter. Aspen couldn’t quite get any distance, however, poor free throw shooting and other mistakes making it more interesting than it should have been.
“I’m excited. It feels good, but the more important one is in two days,” Schrempf said. “We are going to have our meeting of the minds and put together what we project C.P. and company will do to adjust to us Saturday.”
BASALT GIRLS HOLD OFF ASPEN FOR WIN
Earlier Thursday, the Basalt High School girls basketball team used a strong third quarter of its own to beat visiting Aspen, 39-31.
As with the boys’ game, the win secured home-court advantage for the Longhorns when the two teams meet again Saturday in the district play-in game. Basalt, the No. 8 seed with a 3-6 league record, will host Aspen (1-8, No. 9 seed), at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
“I can’t wait. The girls are excited. They are young, but so hungry. We want to get past Saturday,” said first-year Basalt coach Amy Contini. “We feel really good going into the playoffs in a sense that teams don’t want to see us again.”
Missing many key players for a variety of reasons, the Skiers kept it close. Aspen led 7-5 after a quarter and trailed by only a point at halftime. But the third quarter was a Basalt rout, the Longhorns outscoring AHS 22-7 to pull away.
The Skiers rallied with a strong fourth, getting back within single digits, but the damage had been done.
“It’s always our third quarter that we struggle with. We let them score and we don’t score,” AHS coach Lindsey Aldridge said. “The whole game they knew that they could win. Especially being down our players and still being very competitive and having a chance to win, I think definitely helps us for Saturday.”
The winners of Saturday’s playoff games will move on to play top-seed Delta next week, while the loser of each game will see its season come to an end.