Hoops: Roaring Fork downs Aspen in overtime
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
ASPEN – It wasn’t the first chance Dakotah Grett had to win the game.
The Roaring Fork senior’s shot at the end of regulation time against Aspen went off the rim, sending the game into overtime Friday night.
In seemingly the same scenario, Grett didn’t waste the Rams’ second opportunity.
The guard buried the game-winning 3-point shot with less than five seconds remaining in overtime to down Aspen, 45-42. It was the first time in seven years Roaring Fork defeated Aspen on the Skiers’ home court.
“Time was running down, and we didn’t have a choice,” Grett said. “If it went in, it was going to be the game, and if it missed, it was going into more overtime. It was one of those shots in rhythm.”
It was a back-and-forth battle the entire game as Aspen (6-3, 4-2) jumped out to an 11-7 lead after the first quarter only to squander it in the second when the Rams outscored the Skiers, 12-2.
“We felt like we blew it in the second quarter,” Skiers head coach Steve Ketchum said. “We had no offense. I have no explanation to why we had no confidence in our offense.”
The Rams (7-2, 6-0) held a 19-13 scoring advantage coming out of the half, but it didn’t last long.
The Skiers scored 12 straight points to open the half behind five points by Evan Patzoldt. Roaring Fork mustered just four points in the third quarter as the momentum swung back in Aspen’s favor, regaining the lead, 30-24.
Both teams traded baskets in the fourth quarter and ended regulation tied at 40.
In overtime, the Rams’ Trae Moxley opened scoring with a powerful move down low in the post for a layup. Aspen’s Clayton Crawford responded with a layup of his own. The Skiers couldn’t pull ahead when Josh Baker missed from the free-throw line.
With 32 seconds left, it set the scene again for Grett.
“They were hedging the screens all night, and when I saw one of their players drop, I stepped in and he came back,” he said. “There was enough space to shoot, so I let it off.”
About three seconds remained on the clock, but it wasn’t enough for Aspen to advance the ball past midcourt, and a desperation shot bounced off the backboard.
“I’m really proud of them,” Rams head coach Larry Williams said. “Aspen is such a good program and a great place to play. To leave here with a victory, I’ll be sleeping with a smile on my face tonight.”
Grett led Roaring Fork with 15 points, and Moxley chipped in 14.
Crawford led Aspen with 15 points, while Trent Lichtenwalter had seven.
Aspen hosts Olathe at 4 p.m. Saturday, and Roaring Fork hosts Basalt at the same time.
Roaring Fork dominated possession throughout the night, and Aspen couldn’t find any rhythm on offense as the Rams downed the home team, 56-26.
The Rams’ Megan Gianinetti dominated in the low post and led all scorers with 23 points.
Roaring Fork (4-5) played a smothering full-court defense in the first quarter and put the Skiers (2-7) in a 14-4 hole.
“We’ve been working so hard on court awareness,” Roaring Fork head coach Kirk Cheney said. “All seven girls came out and played hard. … We just came out and deflated them early.”
Roaring Fork used a 24-2 run through both the second and third quarters to put the game out of reach.
“This is a good team of shooters,” Cheney said. “When they want to, they can control the boards, too.”
Anna Stevens led Aspen with 11 points, and Sadie Alpern chipped in six.
The Skiers next host Olathe at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, as the Rams play host to Basalt at the same time.
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Skico CEO Mike Kaplan emphasized in a virtual address that this upcoming skiing season will be as spread out as possible with limited personal interaction in order to avoid potential COVID-19 infections and keep the mountains open.