Aspen girls roll against Hotchkiss
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Aspen girls basketball coach Jeremy Haack has been waiting for this. Waiting for everything to click.
“I kept telling the girls that if we’re all on the same page, we’re going to be tough to beat,” Haack said.
Better late than never.
Georgia Lipkin broke a 13-all tie with back-to-back 3’s to end the first quarter, and the Skiers were off and running Saturday against visiting Hotchkiss. Three players scored in double figures for Aspen, which dominated on the glass and in transition en route to a convincing 58-41 victory – its second in three games.
“This is one of the sweetest wins since I’ve been here,” Haack said.
“We all came together and played hard,” Lipkin added. “When we play a full game, we’re unstoppable.”
After Hotchkiss battled back from five down to tie the game with 1 minute, 12 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, Lipkin went to work. She rolled off a screen on an in-bounds play, controlled the pass and buried a 3 with 14 seconds remaining. After the Skiers’ press forced a turnover on the ensuing possession, Lipkin converted again from behind the arc at the buzzer to extend the lead to six.
Her baskets helped spark a 13-2 run that stretched into the first four minutes of the second quarter.
“I don’t think we really looked back after that point,” Haack said. “That was huge. … She’s one of the leaders of the team, and we kind of just fed off Georgia.”
Aspen (5-12 overall, 4-10 3A Western Slope) stretched its advantage to 11 at the break, then broke things wide open in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Bailey Everhart scored four times in the paint and Lipkin hit another 3 as the Skiers jumped out to a 41-20 lead four minutes into the second half. Everhart finished with 15 and Lipkin 14.
Lindsey Anderson led all scorers with 18 for the Skiers, who quelled any chance of a Bulldogs rally with solid fourth-quarter defense and efficient offense.
In doing so, they avenged a 20-point loss in Hotchkiss on Jan. 30.
Aspen matched its second-highest point total of the season, trailing only its 61-point effort in the season opener against Battle Mountain.
“If we get hot at the right time, anything can happen,” Haack said. “There are still plenty of games left.”
“We’re happy, excited,” Lipkin added. “We knew we could do this.”
The Skiers host Cedaredge at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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Basalt went 11-5 in the shortened regular season and finished a mere fourth in the Class 3A Western Slope League behind Moffat County, Gunnison and Delta. Then the Longhorns were the No. 21 seed in regional play that only includes 24 teams, but still shook up the bracket with a pair of big upsets.