Aspen girls b-ballers win two at home
Aspen Times Staff Writer
The state’s top scorer and three-point shooter led the Aspen High School girls basketball team to two wins over the weekend.
On Friday, AHS hosted its latest “grudge match” against visiting Olathe – a lower-ranked team that surprised the Skiers on Jan. 25 with a 48-30 win.
“I don’t know how, but they did beat us last time. We were out to prove that was a fluke,” said AHS coach Lance Finkbeiner.
Aspen led Olathe 12-4 at the close of Friday night’s first quarter, an edge they kept throughout the game, Finkbeiner said. The Skiers finished the night with a 58-30 win.
Senior Lizzie Suiter led scoring Friday night with a whopping 30 points, followed by junior Alex Bethel with nine points and eight assists.
AHS hosted Gunnison on Saturday and pulled out another big win, 50-23 win.
“The score was 31-10 at halftime. That game was over kind of early, too,” Finkbeiner said.
Suiter again led scoring with 23 points on the night. Senior Tara Walker also contributed nine points with three 3-pointers, Finkbeiner said.
With those three baskets, Walker now leads the 3A Class in 3-pointers – she’s made 42 so far this season, Finkbeiner said. Suiter’s 53-point weekend also lifted her to the top of the state standing – averaging 19 points per game, she’s now the state’s scoring leader.
Aspen improved to 8-5 in Class 3A Western Slope League play and 11-7 overall. One game remains on Aspen’s regular-season schedule: Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the AHS gym vs. Cedaredge (10-3, 15-3), the No. 3 team in the league standings.
The Basalt girls had the weekend off but they remain the No. 1 team in the league standings at 11-1 and 14-3, followed by No. 2 Roaring Fork (11-2, 15-3). Basalt hosts Hotchkiss (2-10, 3-13) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., then hosts Roaring Fork for their regular-season finale on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Looking to the league tournament, the opening round of postseason play scheduled to open Feb. 25, Finkbeiner is optimistic about the Skiers’ chances.
“Not only did we get the wins, but we feel like we’re playing pretty well right now coming into the playoffs,” he said.
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Sophomore Ava Lane is a flourishing star in her own right, but spends a lot of her time trying to chase down senior Sierra Bower and sophomore Katelyn Maley, both in practice and in races. This, however, is only making her stronger down the line and it’s not a task she will shy away from.