Aspen girls overcome halftime tie with 11-0 run, beat Grand Valley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
ASPEN – With the halftime score knotted at 33 against league rival Grand Valley, Aspen head coach Jeremy Haack asked his team to dig deeper.
One player took it to heart: “He told us to ‘keep digging,’ so I asked him ‘If you give us some shovels, we can dig,'” said senior Savannah Johnson. “And in the end, he gave us shovels, so we dug.”
While no shovels actually appeared on the court, the Skiers then went on an 11-0 run to open up the third quarter and played stout defense, holding their opponents scoreless for 51⁄2 minutes and to five points in the third quarter.
Aspen carried its momentum into the fourth, and the Cardinals never came within nine for the rest of the game. The Skiers claimed their second straight win, 60-51, and improved to 6-5 overall and 3-3 in the Western Slope 3A. With the loss, Grand Valley fell to 6-4 (3-1).
“I told them the same thing I told them last night: Just play harder in the second half,” Haack said. “It was a great game to be a part of, and it was the best basketball game we’ve ever played. It was an incredible team effort and just another game where we let it fly.”
On Friday, behind 26 points from Bailey Everhart, Aspen put the game out of reach in the third quarter, amassing a 41-24 lead against Basalt. On Saturday, Grand Valley could not match the Aspen senior’s post presence – or her 27 points.
“We knew who their 3-point shooters were, so we just tried some different things defensively in the second half,” Haack said.
Ashlynn Speakman, who scored 10 points in the first half, could not find any space to shoot in the second. She finished with 13 points as the Skiers stifled the Grand Valley offense.
Haley Kremer scored 10 points, and Annie Graber contributed nine in a complete team effort.
“The sky is the limit right now,” Haack said. “These girls are really believing in each other, and that is huge. That’s all we ask for, and they are an amazing group of kids.”
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Buttermilk Ski Area already is scheduled to host the world’s best at ESPN’s X Games this coming week, while it was recently announced Aspen Highlands will host alpine skiing’s NorAm finals later this spring.