Boys basketball: Rifle spoils Aspen opener
The Aspen Times
CARBONDALE — The Rifle Bears, with a potent outside-inside combination, spoiled the season opener for the Aspen High School boys basketball team Friday afternoon.
The Bears, led by Avery Lujan’s game-high 21 points, turned back Aspen 61-29 in the first round of the annual Brenda Patch Tournament at Roaring Fork High School.
The Skiers started fast behind a pair of 3-pointers from senior Jack Rosenthal in the first quarter as the Aspen boys trailed only 12-10 to start the second quarter.
But Rifle opened the second period with a 10-0 run, keyed by Jacob Boone and Morgan Robinson.
When Lujan hit a half-court 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, the Bears pushed their lead to 29-15.
The Aspen boys were limited to five points in the second quarter.
Lujan hit three more 3-pointers in the second half to finish with five as the Bears outscored the Skiers 33-14 in the final two quarters.
Aspen’s Tristan Niskanen hit a couple of free throws and Rosenthal converted a follow shot as the Skiers attempted to scramble back into the game.
Junior Quinton O’Keeffe slashed to the back for a layup and then hit the free throw for a conventional three-point play for the Skiers late in the third quarter.
AJ Detrick and Niskanen added baskets for Aspen in the fourth quarter.
But the hot-shooting Bears outscored the Skiers 19-7 for the final 61-29 margin.
Rosenthal led Aspen with 11 points, including two 3-pointers.
Niskanen added six points and nine rebounds for Aspen.
Detrick finished with five points and six rebounds.
James Kistner added four points; O’Keeffe added three points and five rebounds for the Skiers (0-1).
Lujan’s 21 paced Rifle with Boone adding 18 points.
Luis Carreon scored seven points for the Bears (1-0).
The Aspen boys will try to get into the win column Saturday when they play Eagle Valley in the tournament at Roaring Fork High School. Game time is 3:30 p.m.
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.