Boys basketball: Coal Ridge beats Aspen with late surge |

Boys basketball: Coal Ridge beats Aspen with late surge

The Titans are on top — still.

The Coal Ridge High School boys basketball team broke open a close game with a big fourth-quarter surge, defeating Aspen 60-46 at the AHS gymnasium.

The Titans, the leaders of the Western Slope League, battled the Skiers in a back-and-forth opening three quarters.

Coal Ridge led by two points after the first quarter.

When Will Hazen hit a 3-pointer for Aspen right before halftime, the Aspen boys took a 22-21 lead.

Jack Rosenthal of the Skiers banked in a jumper at the end of the third quarter to tie the game at 36-36 with the fourth quarter remaining.

Aspen stunned the Titans with another 3-pointer from Rosenthal to open the fourth, giving the Skiers a 39-36 lead before a modest, but entertained crowd.

That’s when Coal Ridge junior Hunter Gerber stepped to center stage.

After hitting two free throws, Gerber returned the lead to Coal Ridge with a driving, acrobatic layup and a 40-39 lead.

Gerbers’ points started what would be a devastating 24-7 run by Coal Ridge over the final six minutes of the game.

Gerber scored eight points in the quarter, including 5-of-6 foul shots, finishing with a game-high 24 points. He hit three of Coal Ridge’s seven 3-pointers.

Teammate Brandon Herrera, also with three 3s, added 12 points as the Coal Ridge boys improved to 5-0 in the Western Slope League, 6-4 overall.

Aspen was paced by 22 points from Rosenthal, a senior. He converted four 3-pointers against the Titans.

Fellow senior Tristan Niskanen nearly posted a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds Friday night.

Hazen added eight points for the Skiers.

Zack George added one of Aspen’s seven 3-pointers in the league loss.

Nine different players scored for Coal Ridge.

Aspen moved to 1-3 in conference play, 4-5 overall.

The Skiers will travel to Basalt on Saturday for a rivalry game against the Longhorns at the Big House.

The boys varsity will start about 4 p.m. The girls varsity game will start about 2:30 p.m.

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