Hoops: Skier girls’ struggles continue | AspenTimes.com

Hoops: Skier girls’ struggles continue

Jon MaletzThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN Aspen’s defense held Gunnison to just 15 first-half points Saturday. Its offense was far less effective. The Skiers scored just six points in the first 16 minutes and struggled throughout in a 38-23 loss – their second of the weekend and 13th straight after opening the season with three wins.”We had plenty of open looks, but we couldn’t get the ball in the bucket,” Aspen girls basketball coach Jeremy Haack said. “It was a good defensive effort on our end, but we have to be better about scoring.”Stagnant offense is nothing new for the Skiers (3-13 overall, 0-11 3A Western Slope). They’ve scored 39 or fewer points in nine of their last 10 games. The lone exception came last week when Aspen erased a 14-point deficit and led Olathe by two with 90 seconds to play, then fell, 52-47, in overtime. Friday, the Pirates jumped out to a 25-9 halftime lead and cruised to the 51-29 win; the Skiers were just 1-of-16 from 3-point range and missed 39 of their 52 total shot attempts. Saturday’s game in Gunnison followed a similar storyline.”I don’t think their confidence is wavering, but, when you play on the road, it’s difficult,” Haack said. “You miss a couple shots and it’s tough to keep that confidence. You have to keep on shooting when you’re open.”The Skiers hit one field goal in the opening quarter, but trailed the Cowboys by just two points. But, as Gunnison steadily found traction offensively, Aspen struggled to solve the Cowboys’ zone. The 23-point output is Aspen’s second-lowest of the season.”We shot the ball well in the beginning of the season. For whatever reason, now we’re struggling from the outside,” Haack said. “We’re making a more concerted effort to try and score inside.”The road gets no easier for the Skiers. While their final three games are at home, they play Coal Ridge and Roaring Fork – two teams with nine conference wins between them – next Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both games start at 5:30 p.m.”Most teams would turn it in and quit,” Haack said. “This team hasn’t done that.” jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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