Playoffs look pretty for boys hoops team
Aspen Times Staff Writer
With a win over Hotchkiss Saturday night, their third in four games, Aspen High’s boy’s basketball team heads into a showdown with rival Basalt Tuesday night that could have playoff implications.
A win over the Longhorns will put the Skiers at third place in the conference, giving them a potentially higher seeding in the district tournament later this month.
“I’m incredibly proud of these kids,” Steve Ketchum, the Skiers head coach, said Saturday night. “If we beat Basalt Tuesday, we’ll be alone at third place in the league ” that’s amazing for this group of kids.”
The Skiers beat Hotchkiss 50-40 at home Saturday, redeeming a 74-47 loss to undefeated Roaring Fork High last Tuesday.
Senior Brock Strasbourger led the Skiers in scoring again, amassing 15 points. His leadership and smooth play apparently impressed his coach.
“Brock is becoming our best all around player,” Ketchum said. “He got another quiet 15 again tonight ” nobody knew he was our leading scorer.”
Strasbourger was followed by Moss Schermerhorn, a senior, who had 14 points. Schermerhorn left the game in the fourth quarter after colliding with a Hotchkiss player and taking a hard fall to the floor.
“Moss played great, he had a lot of great drives,” Ketchum said. “And he hit the boards hard; he had a double-double.”
The Skiers got off to a fast start Saturday night, scoring at will to build a 19-4 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“We came out smokin’,” Ketchum said.
The Skiers kept the heat on in the second quarter, and headed into the half with a 26-13 lead.
Hotchkiss answered in the second half, outscoring Aspen 27-24, but it wasn’t enough in the end.
For Ketchum, the win was one of a string of recent victories that symbolized what his team has become.
“They never give up,” he said. “They never doubted themselves ” they knew they were capable of playing better.”
With only one player with varsity experience ” Schermerhorn ” returning this year, the first half of the season was a struggle. But patience and determination, Ketchum said, has turned the season into a sudden success.
“They work hard in practice for two hours every day,” Ketchum said. “They’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the season.
“The difference is night and day.”
Aspen is now 8-7 overall, and 5-4 in conference play. They travel to Basalt Tuesday for a 7 p.m. tip off.
Mikaela Shiffrin did a lot of soul searching after she didn’t win a medal and didn’t finish three of her five individual races at last year’s Beijing Olympics after entering the games amid enormous expectations.