Aspen girls hoops scare Roaring Fork
For three quarters Friday night, it looked as though Aspen High’s girls basketball team might knock off Roaring Fork. But in the end the Rams, undefeated in the Western Slope Conference, were more than the Skiers could handle. Roaring Fork overcame a 12-point second-quarter deficit to beat Aspen 37-29 in the Skiers’ final home game of the season. But if you’re going to lose a game, it might as well be to Roaring Fork, which has a 15-1 overall record (9-0 in the conference) and is in the midst of a 13-game winning streak. “I’m not upset at all by the result,” said Aspen’s head coach, Dave Conarroe. “This is an elite team in the state and we hung with them.” Aspen, 4-6 in the conference and 9-8 overall, played nearly flawless basketball in the first half and led 18-13 at the break. Britany Fortier, a junior, was a rebounding machine – recording five boards in the first quarter alone – and junior Carly Magill had perhaps her best offensive performance of the season with a team high nine points. “She is so athletic, she did some things that were just unbelievable tonight,” Conarroe said about Magill. The Rams pressed Aspen most of the night and eventually switched to a zone defense that forced the Skiers to shoot from the outside. “If they would have [switched to a zone] later, we might have been able to stall,” Conarroe said. “But we just need to get better at shooting, we just didn’t get our shots to fall.” Roaring Fork took its first lead of the game, 23-22, after Ashely Jensen sunk a three-pointer with just under 2:50 left in the third quarter. The two teams would trade baskets for the next eight minutes before the Rams Carly Velasquez put a stranglehold on the Skiers by sinking another three-pointer with just over two minutes remaining in the game. The shot gave the Rams their biggest lead of the night, 33-28, and Aspen never recovered. “They have a ton of kids that are really good,” Conarroe said. “It’s tough to stay with someone like that.” Aspen’s only senior, Liz Floyd, had an unusually low night of scoring with just four points. But Conarroe said she still played exceptional. “She played like a warrior tonight,” he said. Aspen finishes off the regular season with a pair of road games against Gunnison and Olathe next weekend. The district tournament begins Feb. 22.
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