Aspen boys hoops wins fifth straight
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
CRAIG, Colo. – Slow starts have become a habit for the Aspen High boys basketball team, and a source of consternation for head coach Steve Ketchum.
At least for a few moments.
Ketchum was forced to burn a timeout with his team trailing, 8-0, little more than two minutes into Tuesday’s road game against Moffatt County. Once it regrouped, Aspen dominated.
The Skiers amassed a five-point lead at the half, then utilized relentless defensive pressure and balanced scoring down the stretch en route to a 68-46 win – their fifth straight.
“I was telling one of my coaches about how these slow starts are killing us. He told me, ‘After that, we ended up outscoring them by 30.’ Good point,” Ketchum said. “It was looking a little rough, sketchy and scary there at the beginning … but we settled down and got back into it.”
After playing zone for much of a tight opening half, Ketchum opted to switch to aggressive man-to-man defense. The Bulldogs failed to make the necessary adjustments.
“We had a nice little sweet come-to-Jesus meeting in the locker room [at halftime]. … The kids got after it and responded well,” Ketchum said. “We got some turnovers and some scoring going. We had a lot of contributions today.”
Guard Quinn Morehead led the way with 15 points. Senior post players Austin Roark and Jake Nugent pitched in with 13 and eight, respectively, for Aspen, which has won three games over 4A schools this season.
“To start off [the season] 0-2 and win the next five is an incredible turnaround. We need to keep rolling, keep clicking,” Ketchum said. “Every game we have a little better chemistry … and get a little wiser. I’m definitely seeing progress being made.”
The Skiers hit the road again Friday night, when they visit Cedaredge. They return home to take on Rifle on Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m.
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Buttermilk Ski Area already is scheduled to host the world’s best at ESPN’s X Games this coming week, while it was recently announced Aspen Highlands will host alpine skiing’s NorAm finals later this spring.