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Aspen boys rout Olathe

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Win No. 199 and counting.

Matthew Holmes and Andrew Papenfus combined for 26 points for the Aspen boys basketball team, which scored 14 of the first 17 points in Saturday’s game with visiting Olathe. The Skiers cruised to a 52-26 win – improving to 14-0 and sealing coach Steve Ketchum’s 199th win in 11-plus seasons with the program.

“One more, baby,” the coach joked as he walked into the locker room.

Ketchum hopes Tuesday’s game with visiting Roaring Fork plays out like Saturday’s.

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Aspen scored on its opening two possessions and held the Pirates to one field goal in the first six minutes.

In the second quarter, six different Skiers scored. Olathe had just nine first-half points. In two games this season against the state’s second-ranked team, the Pirates have scored 48 points.

“Our defensive intensity is really helping us get going,” Ketchum said.

“When our defense plays well, we’re one of the best teams [in the state],” Papenfus added.

Holmes and Papenfus hit back-to-back 3’s, sparking a 16-2 Aspen run to open the second half, stretching the lead to 45-11. Holmes finished with 12, while Papenfus followed up Friday’s 22-point effort with 14.

“I’m definitely starting to get in the groove and get comfortable,” Papenfus said. “I’m figuring out how to play best against all the teams, and I’m also trying to take open shots.”

Open looks and points were hard to come by for Olathe – when the scoreboard operator failed to update the score after point guard Pablo Payan’s transition lay-up late in the fourth quarter, Pirates head coach Lance Ready walked all the way to the scorer’s table to point it out.

Not that it mattered, as the Skiers easily improved to 11-0 in 3A Western Slope. In two wins this weekend, Aspen outscored Cedaredge and Olathe, 121-56.

“We have a big target on our backs that we have to protect,” Papenfus said. “We want to come out [Tuesday] and continue rolling in the league.”

And pick up another win for Ketchum.

ASPEN – Aspen could not keep pace with the state’s fifth-ranked team.

The Skiers struggled early Saturday against visiting Olathe, spotting the Pirates a 17-point halftime lead. Despite showing flashes of strong play in the third quarter, Aspen faded down the stretch in a 62-34 loss – its seventh straight.

“We could not take care of the ball and our transition defense wasn’t good tonight,” Skiers head coach Jeremy Haack said. “You can’t make mistakes against a team like that.”

Aspen, which was coming off a stretch in which it played five straight games away from home, kept pace during a competitive third quarter. Lindsey Anderson connected twice and Georgia Lipkin once from 3-point range for the Skiers, who were outscored by just four in the frame.

“I told the girls I was anxious to see how they played that third quarter – it would be a test of their character,” Haack said. “They came out and played like they were capable.”

The strong play did not continue down the stretch. After Anderson nailed a 3 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, Aspen hit just one field goal the rest of the way. Olathe closed with an 8-0 run.

The Skiers dropped to 3-11 overall and 2-9 in the 3A Western Slope. They’ll look to rebound at home Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against winless Roaring Fork.

The Skiers overcame an early second-period deficit with two unanswered goals and held on for a 2-1 win over Columbine on Saturday afternoon in Littleton.

James Pardee scored with eight minutes remaining in the second period, then Taylor Mayer found the net 1 minute, 44 seconds into the third, off an assist from Ben Karbank, to put Aspen ahead for good.

The Skiers, who lost to Chatfield on Friday in Littleton, improved to 10-5 overall and 7-4 in the 5A Foothills conference. They return to Lewis Ice Arena on Friday to take on Kent Denver. The puck is slated to drop at 6 p.m.


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