Hoops: Aspen girls overwhelm rival Longhorns
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT – Anna Stevens and the Aspen girls basketball team caught fire in the second quarter Thursday night at Basalt High.
The Longhorns could do little to put it out.
Stevens scored all 12 of her points in a second quarter in which the Skiers amassed a 28-13 advantage. They led by as many as 27 down the stretch, reaffirming their dominance in this Roaring Fork Valley rivalry with a 48-22 win.
“We’re always going to come in focused. We understand that every team in our league has a chance of beating one another,” said Aspen head coach Jeremy Haack, whose squad improved to 9-9 overall and 6-6 in 3A Western Slope play. “I just wanted to see us play smart, not foul and play great defense. I think we did that.”
The Skiers controlled this matchup from the outset. Bailey Everhart scored on the offense glass, then knifed right through the middle of a porous Basalt defense and finished off the glass early in the first quarter, sparking a 9-2 Aspen run.
The senior kicked off the second with another score in the paint, then Stevens went to work. The diminutive guard nailed a 3 from the wing, picked off a pass and converted a layup, then hit a free throw, giving the Skiers an 18-4 cushion and prompting a Longhorns timeout 6 minutes, 13 seconds before the break.
Aspen’s suffocating defensive pressure was equally as effective, causing Basalt fits all evening.
“We mixed it up between man, zone and full-court pressure,” Haack said. “What was cool was that the girls created a lot of offense off of our defensive pressure. The majority of our points came in transition.”
Such was the case during a dominant third quarter in which the Skiers effectively put this one out of reach with a 16-5 run.
They went cold in the fourth, but the punchless Longhorns (1-18, 0-13) could not take advantage.
Everhart finished with a game-high 15 for Aspen, which closes out the regular season at 5:30 tonight in Rifle.
“Every girl stepped up tonight. I’m proud of each of them,” Haack said. “It was a complete team effort.”
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The 2020-21 Nordic combined season was supposed to be historic. This winter was going to be the first ever with women’s Nordic combined World Cup events, the first scheduled for Dec. 3-6 in Lillehammer, Norway.