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Aspen girls top Roaring Fork, end recent skid

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jim Ryan/Special to The Aspen TimesSkiers head girls coach Jeremy Haack reacts to a play during Tuesday's game against Roaring Fork at Aspen High School.
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ASPEN – The Aspen girls’ slide is over. Roaring Fork’s is not.

The Skiers overcame a sluggish start Tuesday at home with a 17-2 run in the second quarter. That was more than enough to erase a sluggish start and overcome some spirited play from the winless Rams en route to a 58-48 victory – snapping Aspen’s seven-game losing streak.

“The girls were relentless on the boards tonight and did a good job blocking out,” said Skiers head coach Jeremy Haack, whose team last won Jan. 15, against Roaring Fork. “It was not the ideal start, but credit the girls for fighting back. They really calmed down.”

Alli Zeigel spotted the Rams an early lead with two 3-pointers in the game’s first 40 seconds. After Aspen battled back to square things at six, Sharlene Salinas converted a three-point play, then scored in transition to put Roaring Fork back out in front.

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The Rams clung to a 14-12 lead after eight minutes.

They extended that advantage to six after Zeigel and Megan Gianinetti scored in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Things went south in a hurry, however.

The Skiers (4-11 overall, 3-9 3A Western Slope), who struggled in the first quarter to move the ball against full-court pressure, finally found some passing lanes, leading to multiple easy transition baskets.

Aspen also countered with full-court pressure of its own, producing three consecutive buckets from Caroline Kelley, Bailey Everhart and Georgia Lipkin that tied the game at 18 and prompted Roaring Fork head coach Nancy Zeigel to call a timeout 5:17 before the break.

The stoppage in play could do little to slow the Skiers, who scored the next seven points and 11 of the quarter’s final 13.

“I keep telling them we can’t give 32 full minutes,” said coach Zeigel, whose squad dropped to 0-15. “They started breaking our press, and we had lots of silly turnovers.

“We’re very close. … It is [frustrating], but I’m proud of the girls. They could be giving up.”

Salinas and Adrianna Romero scored to help the Rams pull to within five one minute into the third quarter. The two teams exchanged baskets until the fourth, when Aspen blew things wide open.

Everhart hit two free throws, then Jonelle Berklund picked off a lazy pass and scored in transition to open the final quarter, sparking a 12-4 run that gave the Skiers a 55-38 advantage with 3:22 remaining.

Alli Zeigel scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the final three minutes, but Roaring Fork could pull no closer than 10.

“This is a win in my book,” Nancy Zeigel said. “It’s the most points we’ve scored this year. … We’re getting there.”

Lindsey Anderson paced Aspen with 14 points. The Skiers host Gunnison at 5:30 p.m. Friday, then Hotchkiss at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

“We given some games away recently, and tonight I said, ‘Let’s stop giving things away.’ And, more than anything, I wanted them to go back to having fun playing basketball,” Haack said. “This is a big win.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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