Lizzie Suiter sets all-time scoring record in AHS win
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Despite an injury to its highest scorer ever, the Aspen High girls basketball team pulled off another down-to-the-wire win Tuesday night in the first round of the Class 3A Western Slope League district tournament.
The No. 4 seed Skiers beat visiting No. 5 Eagle Valley 45-41 to seal a place in next week’s regional tourney.
Senior Lizzie Suiter netted eight points in the quarter, helping AHS to a 12-4 lead.
But the Skiers lost footing in the second quarter as Eagle Valley mended their shooting woes. Though senior Tara Walker sank two of her now trademark three-pointers, Eagle Valley led 29-26 at the half.
The game paused briefly in the third quarter when Suiter sank a basket that brought her game total to 18 and, more importantly, helped her break Aspen High School’s all-time scoring record for girls. The previous record, 1,092, set by Terri Dangler in the early 1990s, was bested by Suiter’s basket to put her at 1,093 points. Then, a free throw just seconds later put her at 1,094.
But Suiter’s celebration was short-lived: the senior was able to score only one additional point before she was sidelined with an ankle injury. A limping Suiter was escorted off the court by AHS coach Lance Finkbeiner and spent the remainder of the game on the bench with an ice pack.
Teammates reported that Suiter was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital immediately following the game for an X-ray.
Leading by just two points as they entered the fourth quarter, Aspen held on to its lead with help from its only freshman player, Carly Magill. Magill made three trips to the foul line in the game’s final minutes, pushing the Skiers to a 45-41 win.
“It was definitely a nail-biter,” said Walker. “I didn’t know if we were going to pull it through after Lizzie was taken out.”
Suiter led scoring on the night with 19 points, followed by Walker with nine and Magill with seven.
Though this win sends the Skiers to the regional tournament, the team is currently looking to round two of district play on Thursday.
The team’s next opponent is a familiar one: downvalley rival and 3A Western Slope League champs Basalt High. The teams have faced each other twice already this season with mixed results – each team has a win on their side as they travel to Palisade for Thursday’s contest.
As it stands, Aspen has nothing to lose – even if they aren’t able to pull off a win Thursday or during Saturday’s consolation games, the team will still see regional play. However, performance in districts will determine each team’s seeding for regionals, Walker said.
“Right now, it’s just trying to get the best seed going into regionals that we can,” she said. “But we’ve already beaten two of the top 10 teams in the state – Basalt and Cedaredge – so I feel pretty confident.”
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