Hoops: Aspen holds off Titans boys | AspenTimes.com

Hoops: Aspen holds off Titans boys

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent
ALL |

PEACH VALLEY, Colo. – No matter what Coal Ridge threw at Aspen, the Skiers had an answer.

Fending off a series of surges from the host Titans, Aspen’s boys basketball team escaped Peach Valley with a 51-45 win Friday.

“I thought Coal Ridge was very talented, very tough,” Skiers coach Steve Ketchum said after sweating out a second 3A WS victory in as many nights. “They played with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity.”

And the Titans needed every ounce of energy and intensity to hang with the talented Skiers, who improved to 4-2 overall and to 2-0 in the conference.

After closing out the first quarter with a 10-9 lead, Aspen opened the second with a flurry of baskets and a 10-0 run.

Back-to-back three-point plays by Coal Ridge’s Darik Brown sliced that advantage to 20-15. A 3-pointer by McCade Cox and a transition bucket by Cody Walls tied the game at 20 with 2:15 to go until halftime.

As it did all night, Aspen responded.

Daniel Amador sunk a triple and Jake Nugent converted a layup to regain the lead and put the Skiers up 25-20 at the break.

The Skiers piled on seven more unanswered points to start the third, opening up a 32-20 advantage in the process.

That’s right about where Aspen kept it the rest of the frame.

Coal Ridge rallied in the fourth, with back-to-back 3-pointers from Brown getting the hosts to within 46-40 with 3:44 left.

The Titans pulled to within five in the final minute, but they would get no closer.

“We just hit a little bit of a lull in the second quarter, and then we couldn’t score in the third,” Titans coach Paul Harvey said. “It really hurts because they want to slow it down and play half court. When they do that, it’s tough.”

Austin Roark led Aspen with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Two of those came on an alley-oop layup tossed by teammate Quinn Morehead that was perhaps the play of the night, drawing oohs and aahs from the crowd.

Morehead scored 10 points, regularly connecting on mid-range jump shots. James Powell drained a pair of 3s on his way to seven points, and Nugent and Crawford scored six apiece. Nugent also had nine boards.

Brown’s 19 points paced Coal Ridge, which dropped to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in league play. Cox finished with eight, Walls seven and Alec Herrera six.

PEACH VALLEY, Colo. – Paige Ryan and her Coal Ridge never let the moment get the best of them.

Watching a 10-point lead erode to nothing in the final 3 minutes, 31 seconds of regulation could easily have resulted in disaster for the Titans. Somehow, though, Coal Ridge overcame it, rebounding in overtime for a 51-46 win over visiting Aspen on Friday.

“We have a drill at the end of practice, a two-minute drill where we’re down by three and we have to come up with it,” Ryan said. “We practice staying calm and working together.”

Coal Ridge did both of those things down the stretch, erupting for 11 points in Friday’s four-minute overtime period. Ryan scored six of those points and finished with 15 as the Titans improved to 3-3 overall and to 1-0 in the Slope.

Doing most of her work down low, Britni Allen racked up 15 points and eight rebounds for Coal Ridge. Cassie Blackard chipped in with 11 points and nine boards, and Allie Ehlers had four points and six rebounds.

The Titans held a modest advantage most of the night before opening up a 34-26 lead with back-to-back buckets to start the fourth quarter. They extended that lead to 38-28, and then 40-30 with 3:31 left.

That’s about when Aspen’s offense awakened.

Anna Stevens knocked down a baseline runner to jumpstart a regulation-closing, 10-0 run. Bailey Everhart followed with a bucket, and Everhart and Stevens each dropped in a pair of free throws to pull the Skiers to within two at 40-38 with 1:08 remaining.

Savannah Johnson forced overtime, scooping up a ball knocked loose by a teammate and cruising in for the game-tying score with 44 seconds on the clock.

“It was just a tremendous effort by our girls,” Aspen coach Jeremy Haack said. “I’m just so proud of them. They came back and tied it at the end. This is just a great group of girls.”

Everhart finished with a game-high 28 points for the Skiers.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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