Aspen downs Olathe
The Aspen varsity boys basketball team got its coach back Jan. 25, then the Skiers got their swagger back Friday, beating Olathe at home, 50-38.”We came together as a team, and that’s what we’re supposed to do,” said senior Jyace Stutsman, who led the Skiers in rebounds and scored seven points. “It was teamwork. It felt great.”Head coach Steve Ketchum was reinstated after sitting out the Skiers’ tight losses to Basalt and Gunnison. With the coach back, the Skiers limited turnovers and kept the Pirates at bay on defense.In the fourth quarter, with the game still in the balance, the Skiers played their best basketball, holding the Pirates to seven points while scoring 17. Sophomore Cory Parker finished with a season-high 23 points. Senior captain Luke Gosda also had a big night, dishing out eight assists.”They were phenomenal,” Ketchum said. “Luke was a fantastic leader, and it was the best game of the year for Cory, Luke and Jyace. It was the intensity of the whole team, and Cory was unstoppable.”Aspen had trouble inside with Pirates senior Jake Perkins in the first quarter and struggled to find rhythm on offense, trailing by three points at the end of the period. At the half, the Skiers were ahead by just one. At the end of the third, Aspen led by two, 33-31.Then the fourth quarter turned into the Parker and Brian Westerlind show, as the sophomores keyed Aspen’s 17-7 run. Westerlind added four points in the fourth to finish with six. Gosda’s final layup closed the deal, and with two minutes remaining in the game, Ketchum put in his second-string players. Aspen next plays host to Cedaredge at 7 p.m. Friday.
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The 2020-21 Nordic combined season was supposed to be historic. This winter was going to be the first ever with women’s Nordic combined World Cup events, the first scheduled for Dec. 3-6 in Lillehammer, Norway.