Aspen girls fall to Basalt |

Aspen girls fall to Basalt

Nate PetersonThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado
Jim Paussa/The Aspen TimesLonghorns senior guard Melissa Stewart dribbles between Aspens Kylie Westerlind, left, and Lindsey Anderson on Tuesday night in Basalt. Stewart finished with eight points in a 60-52 win.

BASALT Ashley Soucie admitted Tuesday night that shes the worst free-throw shooter on Basalts girls basketball team. At least in practice.Against a determined Aspen team, in a packed gym, with the game in the balance, Soucie couldnt miss. And for that, the visiting Skiers once again found themselves on the losing end of this rivalry game.Soucie sank nine of 11 from the line in the final eight minutes, including one to complete a three-point play. Those 11 points were enough to hold off Aspen in a 60-52 win that extended the Longhorns winning streak in the regular season series to nine games. Aspen last beat Basalt in January 2005.I guess when it comes to pressure at the free throw line, thats when Im at my best, said Soucie, who led all scorers with 22 points. Usually, when Im just going up there, I cant make them. But when my minds in the game, Im doing it. Im making them for my team. Im the worst in practice. Im the one who always has to run for not making them.That Soucie found herself having to make key free throws in the fourth quarter was a credit to the Skiers, who refused to let this be another Basalt romp. Aspen trailed by 12 midway through the third quarter before a Georgia Lipkin 3-pointer ignited a 10-2 run.That led to something Basalt and Aspen fans arent used to: a fourth quarter that actually mattered. The Skiers, behind 19 points from junior Lindsey Anderson, gave the home team a scare, but couldnt pull off the upset. The Skiers pulled within four at 52-48 before Longhorns sophomore Jamie Matherly sank a momentum-shifting 3-pointer with three minutes remaining.From there, Aspen was forced to foul and Basalts Soucie and Matherly came through at the line, going a combined 5-for-6. Matherly finished with 13 points.While some of his players left the court in tears, Skiers coach Jeremy Haack said he had never been more proud of his team.Thats the best weve played all season, he said. I asked them before the game to play hard and play together and I tell you what, were coming together at the right time as we go into these final three games of the season. Were so close. Tonight they showed how close we really are.Added Lipkin: We wanted this game and we knew it was going to be our game and we came out tough. In the end, sometimes things dont go the way you want.Andersen was the only Aspen player to score in double digits. Rebeca Dolores had eight points, Kylie Westerlind added seven and Lipkin and Caroline Kelly each had six. Westerlind also had a block and two steals.For Basalt, senior point guard Melissa Stewart finished with eight points and Mackenzie Buck and Nicole Booth each added six.While she wasnt pleased with her teams overall performance on defense, Basalt coach Carolyn Compton said the most important thing was to get a win against its upvalley rival. I thought Aspen played a great game, she said. I was hoping we were going to take it up to another level, but thats what we need to be doing is building to a new level every game so that we go into districts flying. Were not quite there yet, but well get there.Basalt next plays at Cedaredge on Friday while Aspen hosts Grand Valley that same night. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 5:30

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