Farrell sets all-time scoring record for Aspen High boys
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Four-year starter Nick Farrell became the all-time leading scorer in Aspen High boys basketball history Friday night and the Skiers won by a blowout twice to clinch second place in the Class 3A Western Slope League standings heading into the playoffs.
Aspen, now 11-2 in league play and 14-4 overall, crushed Olathe (1-12, 2-16) 86-25 on Friday night at the AHS gym, then routed Gunnison (1-11, 2-15) 71-37 on Saturday.
One game remains on Aspen’s regular-season schedule, and that’s Cedaredge, the No. 1 team in the league at 12-0, 16-1. Aspen, which lost to Cedaredge by three points, 51-48, in their first meeting on the road Dec. 19, hosts the rematch on Friday night at 7 p.m. at the AHS gym.
“This is a big challenge for us and our kids are up for it,” said Steve Ketchum, the AHS head coach.
“We had a chance to tie with 20 seconds left and then a chance to win at the buzzer, and the ball didn’t go in the basket either time,” continued Ketchum, referring to Aspen’s first meeting with Cedaredge. “Not only do we feel like we can play with them, we feel like we can beat them.”
Farrell, the point/shooting guard who is averaging 18 points, 10 assists, 7. 5 rebounds and 5 steals per game this season, earned his spot in AHS history on Friday in the Olathe blowout.
Farrell entered the game needing 15 points to surpass Mike Lund, who set Aspen’s all-time scoring record in the 1980s, Ketchum said, and Farrell got it and then some. He finished with 18 points and a triple-double (11 assists and 10 steals, and 8 boards) to surpass Lund with 1,300-plus points (the exact figure was unavailable last night).
“Another spectacular effort from Nick,” Ketchum said.
Senior Zac Paris had 17 points, including 5 three-pointers, and senior Josh Lackey had 14. Senior Pete VanDomelen contributed a career-high 10.
Aspen led 50-12 at halftime.
“We knew it was going to be an easy weekend for us, relatively, but Friday night turned into a slaughter. Our halftime talk lasted two minutes and we basically said, ‘We’re not out here to embarrass these guys.’ We played straight man defense, played all 13 kids and still got close to a hundred points,” Ketchum said.
“The Olathe coach was upset with me after.”
On Saturday vs. Gunnison, the other cellar-dwellar in the league, Aspen again dashed out to an early lead, this time 35-15 at halftime.
Farrell led with 22 points, while Phil Salazar had seven, Teddy Farrell had nine and Brett Mufson and Moss Schermerhorn had eight each.
Aspen entered the weekend tied for second place in the league standings with Carbondale’s Roaring Fork, each with two league losses apiece. But Roaring Fork dropped two games on the weekend, 52-50 at home vs. Eagle Valley on Friday, then 49-46 to the No. 1 Cedaredge on the road Saturday.
Now standing in third place, Roaring Fork, 9-4 in league and 11-7 overall, finishes its regular season on Friday at 8 p.m. at Basalt, the No. 4 team in the standings at 6-6, 6-11. The Basalt boys, meanwhile, were off this weekend and will host Hotchkiss (5-7, 7-10) on Tuesday at 8 p.m. before finishing the regular season against Roaring Fork.
Statistically ahead of Roaring Fork and behind Cedaredge regardless the outcome of the remaining games, Aspen could still benefit from a win Friday vs. Cedaredge as the teams head into the league playoffs and then the state tournament.
“It’s a big game for us,” Ketchum said. “It’s senior night, parent night and the last game of the regular season – at home. So it’ll be an emotional night – with the biggest senior class I’ve had in my five years here with nine, and a lot riding on what develops for the postseason.”
It would be easy enough to quantify long-distance adventures in Snowmass Village by the usual stats and figures: 90-plus miles of singletrack and dirt roads, four core endurance races, and infinite route combos no more than a few hundred yards from the nearest parking spot or bus stop.
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