First-quarter surge propels Aspen boys
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE – A two-point first quarter isn’t going to help you win many basketball games. Do that against the second-ranked team in the state of Colorado and you’ll have big trouble on your hands.
After falling behind 18-2 after one frame, Roaring Fork’s boys basketball squad stumbled to a 49-35 loss to visiting Aspen on Friday.
The Skiers, ranked behind only Faith Christian in the latest Denver Post 3A poll, scored the game’s first eight points and, despite lapses in focus here and there, were never seriously threatened thereafter.
“That first quarter was a killer,” said Rams head coach Larry Williams, whose team managed just a pair of Jake Strack-Loertscher free throws in that crushing opening quarter. “Their defensive pressure really got to us. I didn’t think it would as much as it did. They’re such good athletes and they’re so well-coached. It’s tough.”
After building up that big lead, Aspen let off the gas somewhat in the second quarter.
The Rams opened the frame on a 6-1 run to make the score 19-8. But the Skiers countered with a 8-2 run of their own to head into intermission with a 27-10 lead.
“It was an absolute incredible first quarter,” Aspen head coach Steve Ketchum said. “It seems like we start great, with great energy, great intensity. Then we just need to work on eliminating the sloppy, crazy play. … We allow people to come back on us. That’s happened in most of our games. Trying to keep that focus, for us, is really tough.”
“I don’t know what it is,” Skiers senior Andrew Papenfus added. “We come out really good the first quarter and get up by a lot. Then, for some reason, I don’t know if we get lazy, but we just get sloppy and start turning the ball over. And then our offense goes down.”
Aspen, now 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the 3A Western Slope, cleaned it up in the third quarter. Baskets by Nick Codd, Papenfus and Anderson Cole accounted for a 6-0 spurt to start the half, and Aspen went on to win the quarter, 13-4.
With mostly sub-varsity and bench players in the game for both sides, Roaring Fork took the fourth quarter, 21-9.
Andrew Papenfus led Aspen with 11 points. Matthew Holmes added 10 points and Anderson Cole had nine.
Strack-Loertscher led the Rams (3-6 overall, 3-3 in league) with eight points. Sam Carpenter had six on a pair of fourth-quarter 3-pointers.
Roaring Fork returns to the court this afternoon at Grand Valley. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m. The Skiers host Coal Ridge next Friday.
With full-court pressure creating turnovers and easy layups en masse, Aspen’s girls overcame a slow start to score a 52-36 win over Roaring Fork on Friday.
The Skiers fell behind 5-0 at the outset and trailed 14-9 early in the second quarter before shots started falling. Aspen ended the half on a 19-3 run.
“We started making our layups,” senior Lindsey Anderson said.
The surge continued into the second half, with the Skiers scoring the third quarter’s first nine points to put them up 37-17.
“I thought our full-court pressure worked really well tonight,” Aspen head coach Jeremy Haack said. “I think a majority of our points came scoring off the press.”
Anderson led the Skiers (3-4, 2-3) with 13 points. She also had seven rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Morgan Kimmel and Jonelle Berklund added 10 points apiece.
Alli Zeigel paced Roaring Fork (0-9, 0-6) with 13 points.
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A couple of deep breaths helped steady Aspen High School’s Brooke O’Sullivan after a triple bogey nearly derailed her final few holes on Tuesday in the second round of the girls golf state championship in Pueblo. This led to solo 10th for the rising Skier, while Tessa Guthrie finished 29th overall.