Basketball: Roaring Fork ends season for Aspen boys
The Aspen Times
CARBONDALE — The tumultuous basketball season ended Tuesday night for the Aspen High School boys basketball team, eliminated from the District Tournament in the first round by Roaring Fork 58-37.
The up-and-down thrill ride for the Skiers and their fans had one more crescendo — a stunning 23-19 halftime lead in the gym at Roaring Fork High School.
But the music fell silent for the Skiers in the second half as the homestanding Rams used two devastating scoring runs to outscore Aspen 39-14 in the third and fourth quarters.
The Aspen boys, taking advantage of a plethora of Roaring Fork turnovers, took the first-half lead helped by a 10-0 run early in the second quarter. Evan Geishart started the scoring spree. Evan Patzoldt added a 3-pointer from the right side, and then Dominick Alcorta assisted on consecutive baskets by Tristan Niskanen and Wyatt Feagan.
Five consecutive points from Patzolt and another basket from Geishart completed Aspen’s 16-7 advantage in the second quarter.
But the four-point lead vanished in a minute and 50 seconds when Roaring Fork’s Ben Carpenter hit back-to-back 3-pointers.
Chering Sherpa and Aldo Pinela scored for the Rams in a 10-0 run that was halted by Alcorta’s 3-pointer from the corner.
Carpenter answered with two-more 3-pointers — four in the quarter — to stake Roaring Fork to a 35-30 lead.
The Rams added a basket on an inbounds play from Adrian Chavez. And they closed the third quarter with a steal and layup from Sherpa — 39-32 advantage Roaring Fork entering the fourth quarter.
The Rams of veteran coach Larry Williams matched their 10-0 run to open the fourth quarter, leading 49-33 with four minutes to play. With a home crowd-pleasing drive for a layup by Jassiel Petatan, the Rams finished the game with a 19-5 fourth quarter and the 21-point tournament victory.
Carpenter led with 18 points, including five 3s. Chavez added 11 for the Rams; Pinela 10. Niskanen and Patzoldt led the Skiers with 10 points each. Alcorta finished with seven points and six rebounds. Geishart added eight points.
Roaring Fork improved to 14-6 with the Rams’ third victory over the Skiers this season.
The Aspen boys moved to 9-11 with the Tuesday night loss in the first round of the District Tournament — the first time in nearly two decades the Aspen boys have not played in the district semifinals.
Roaring Fork will take on Grand Valley (16-3) in the semifinals after the Cardinals beat Basalt 73-43 on Tuesday night in Parachute. The Basalt boys closed the season 5-15.
In other boys games Tuesday night in the tourney, No. 1 seed Moffat County (15-4) ousted winless Olathe 75-38.
In first-round games in the girls tournament Tuesday night, the Aspen and Basalt teams lost on the road. No. 1-seed Olathe (19-1) beat the AHS girls 66-16, and No. 2-seed Moffat County (15-5) beat the BHS girls 78-27. The Aspen girls ended the season 1-16; the Basalt girls ended 3-17.
In other games, Grand Valley’s girls (10-8) beat Roaring Fork 48-18 and Coal Ridge’s girls (10-10) beat Gunnison 51-29.
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The Aspen High School girls soccer team might have been flying under the radar when the playoffs started, but it likely has a massive target on its back now. Only three days after pulling off the biggest upset of the first round, the No. 15 seed Skiers will play at No. 10 Colorado Academy on Saturday.