Boys basketball: Aspen bounces back vs. Olathe
The Aspen Times
The Skiers took out their frustrations on visiting Olathe on Saturday afternoon.
The Aspen High School boys basketball team, still smarting from a home loss to Gunnison on Friday night, bounced back with a dominating 71-46 victory over the visiting Pirates one day later.
The Skiers, who struggled in a 62-51 defeat at the hands of Gunnison, were not about to start slow against the winless Olathe boys.
Instead, the Aspen boys exploded to an 8-0 lead, expanded to a dizzying 15-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Quinton O’Keeffe set the tone for the Skiers when he hit two free throws and a driving layup to open the game at the AHS gymnasium.
Tristan Niskanen also scored four points in the opening period, and teammate Jack Rosenthal added a 3-pointer.
Five different Skiers scored in the opening period.
With their defense forcing turnovers by the bushel, the Skiers converted on quick-strike offense.
AJ Detrick scored six points in the second quarter as did teammate James Kistner, and the Skiers pushed the halftime lead to 20 points at 34-14.
Aspen put up a season-high 23 points in the third quarter, including two 3-pointers from Rosenthal and seven more points from Detrick.
Niskanen finished with a season-high 18 points for the Aspen boys.
Three teammates also scored in double figures.
Detrick finished with 15 points.
Rosenthal scored 12. Kistner finished with 10 as the Aspen boys improved to 6-8 overall, 3-6 in the Western Slope League.
Freshman Dominique Gonzalez led Olathe in scoring with 12 points off the bench. He hit four 3-pointers for the Pirates.
Mackenzie Cox added 10 for the Olathe boys (0-15, 0-10 in league play).
Trace Medina added seven points for the Pirates.
Niskanen also led Aspen with six rebounds in the Saturday victory.
The Skiers will hit the road for three consecutive league games, starting Tuesday at Coal Ridge. Next Friday, Aspen will play at Grand Valley. And next Saturday, Aspen will make the long trip to Gunnison.
The Skiers will close the season at home against rival Basalt on Feb. 19.
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Two years have passed since the AHS mountain bike team has had the chance to defend its championship. But the wait ends this weekend in Durango, the final races of the Colorado Cycling League season. Competing as a composite team with Basalt, there is belief a repeat championship is within reach.