Despite losing captains, AHS girls eke out win |

Despite losing captains, AHS girls eke out win

Aspen Times Staff Report

In a game that marked the end of high school basketball for both of Aspen’s senior captains, Leandra Sivess and Alex Bethel, the Skiers eked out an emotional win over Eagle Valley 46-44 at home on Friday night.

Aspen’s “senior night” saw Bethel starting on the bench, owing to continuing pain and problems with a stress fracture in her foot, while Sivess started the game but was finished early in the fourth quarter with a torn ACL.

Sivess and Bethel, both three-sport (softball, b-ball and soccer) varsity standouts, are lost for the remainder of the hoops season, Lance Finkbeiner, the AHS coach, said Sunday. Sivess will miss the soccer season as well (with surgery this week and a recovery time of four to six months), while Bethel, who hopes to herself avoid surgery by staying off her foot, is hopeful she can recover for soccer season.

Aspen led 17-14 at the half on Friday, then 31-25 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Skiers stretched the lead to 10 points when Sivess sustained the injury in a loose-ball collision with another player.

“In a lot of ways we lost focus with that,” said Finkbeiner. “They came back, hit some 3s and tied the game, 42-42, with maybe a minute left.”

With the ball, Aspen sophomore point guard Carly Magill attempted to drive for a layup but her shot rattled out of the hoop. Fortunately, Aspen junior forward Liz Floyd was in position to grab the rebound and put it back up and in to give Aspen a 44-42 lead with about 20 seconds left.

Then, with six or seven seconds left, Eagle Valley knocked down a field goal of their own to tie it up again at 44 all, according to Finkbeiner.

“We immediately just threw it in and Carly took it the length of the floor and was fouled on a running layup with .9 seconds left,” Finkbeiner said.

Magill, who was 4 for 4 from the free-throw line earlier in the fourth quarter, then calmly improved to 6 for 6, drilling both shots to give Aspen an emotionally charged win.

“She was clutch,” said Finkbeiner. Magill also had a career-high 13 points. Floyd led Aspen with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and “was solid as always,” the coach said.

Aspen improved to 6-10 overall and 4-7 in league play. With three games remaining in the regular season, Aspen stands in the No. 5 spot in the Class 3A Western Slope League Standings. Basalt and Roaring Fork are tied at No. 1, with Cedaredge and Eagle Valley No. 3 and 4, respectively, ahead of Aspen.

“That Eagle team, that’s the team that we lost to in overtime in Eagle just a few weeks ago,” said Finkbeiner. “So it was good to get them back.”

Looking ahead, the coach said, “Obviously, some girls who haven’t had a lot of playing time are going to get some more. We’re hoping they step up and obviously we’re going to spend time preparing them to be comfortable in their new role.”

The AHS girls hit the road next, with games at Olathe Friday night and Gunnison Saturday.