Boys basketball: Basalt surges past Aspen
The Aspen Times
On senior night, the underclassmen ruled.
The Basalt High School boys basketball team, with not a senior on the roster, spoiled the annual senior celebration for the rival Skiers on Friday night, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 71-43 victory.
Playing in front of a large crowd from Basalt as well as the largest Aspen home crowd of the season, the Longhorns surged in the second half. They parlayed a stunning 30-12 run into the big Western Slope League victory.
“The boys played well,” Basalt head coach Danny Martinez said after the Longhorns improved to 14-4 overall and 9-4 in league play. “We tried … to take advantage of their foul trouble. But we’ve got to make more of them (free throws).”
The Basalt boys shot 29 free throws Friday night, making 17.
Pedro Rivera hit 4-of-4 foul shots in the fourth quarter. Kyle Roberts added two more in the final period.
The Skiers were 6-of-11 from the foul line in a game where they got off to a fast start.
The Skiers, with 3-pointers from Will Hazen and Jack Rosenthal and six points from AJ Detrick, stayed even with the Longhorns through the first quarter.
With Basalt up 13-12, Raul Torres attacked in the lane and converted five more free throws in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Basalt junior Mike Glen quietly piled up 13 first-half points, including five from the line. He would finished with a game-high 24 points for the Longhorns, including a dunk in front of the purple-clad Basalt fans.
Torres finished with 13 points for Basalt.
Pedro Rivera scored eight; Pablo Rivera scored six.
And Roberts closed with eight points in the Basalt victory.
Rosenthal scored 17 to lead the Aspen scorers. Detrick added 15 points. Hazen finished with six.
Tristan Niskanen, one of the honored Aspen seniors, scored with 2:46 to play in the first half, pulling the Skiers to within 25-21.
Basalt answered with eight consecutive points, including a steal and layup from Pablo Rivera.
That produced a 31-21 halftime lead.
The Skiers, who had fallen behind at Basalt in a game earlier this season but rallied with 3-pointers, tried to repeat the feat Friday night.
Detrick and Hazen both hit 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
But Aspen would manage only nine points in the final period as the Skiers moved to 3-10 in the Western Slope League, 6-12 overall.
They will be back in action Saturday afternoon when Moffat County visits Aspen for the final game of the regular season.
The boys varsity game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday. The girls are set to start at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
The teams will open Western Slope District Tournament play Thursday with the top four teams hosting the four lower teams in the first round.
The tournament will continue next weekend in Grand Junction.
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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.