No. 6 Roosevelt upsets Skiers
Aspen’s Cory Parker was his usual dominant self Friday. Unfortunately for the Skiers, the junior standout’s supporting cast picked an inopportune time to have an off night.Parker scored 28 in Friday’s 3A state tournament opening round game against sixth-seeded Roosevelt at Sheridan High School, but received little help on the offensive end. The rest of the roster scored just 12 points and the Roughriders, led by 27 points from Jerry Hildreth, the state’s top scorer, took advantage. Roosevelt hung on for the improbable 43-40 victory, and will play second-seeded Sheridan Saturday.Also, the Basalt boys dropped its opening round game with No. 1 Eaton. Longhorns coach Mike Green could not be reached for comment Friday.”Despite some good defensive play, [Hildreth] was on fire at times,” Aspen coach Steve Ketchum said. “He was hitting deep NBA threes, driving to the basket and he didn’t miss a free throw all game. Cory carried us on his back, but he can’t do it all.”Some kids were so scared they wouldn’t even look at the basket. They didn’t want that pressure. Our youth and lack of confidence really showed tonight, and I don’t know why.”Parker drew two quick fouls during the game’s opening four minutes and was forced to sit out the rest of the quarter. Ketchum, who watched his team struggle on the offensive end, was forced to bring Parker back into the game in the second quarter, and it paid off. The Skiers led by seven at the half.But, in much the same fashion as the district championship against Roaring Fork on Feb. 24, Aspen (16-7) let its lead slip, and trailed by one heading into the fourth quarter. It was dealt a heavy blow with three minutes remaining when Parker was whistled for his fifth foul. After freshman guard Matt Holmes battled for a loose ball and drew a foul, he went to the line for a one-and-one. When his first attempt rattled off the rim, Parker bounded into the lane to grab the offensive board and was whistled for going over the back of a Roughriders player. Aspen trailed by two at the time.During the final three minutes, the Skiers “couldn’t get over the hump,” Ketchum said. In a stretch reminiscent of the game’s first 29 minutes, Aspen missed wide open looks from three as well as free throws and had a driving layup that looked like it would fall roll around the rim and out. Roosevelt, playing without its second leading scorer who was academically ineligible, was the beneficiary.”I have to keep reminding myself that every team in the state ends on a losing note except the champs. I’m just sad it ended this early,” Ketchum said. “We should have and could have easily won this one. I don’t want this to take away from a great season. We had some great moments, but our lack of experience and understanding was really evident tonight.”This last one has left a sour taste and will hurt for a while. But in the long run it will probably be a good thing.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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Like most high school sports programs across the nation right now, Garfield County athletics directors are seeing fewer applicants for open coaching positions. Five years ago vacant positions were filled within just a couple of days.