Prep basketball hits final stretch for Aspen, Basalt |

Prep basketball hits final stretch for Aspen, Basalt

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
The Longhorns box out the Bulldogs last weekend at Moffat County.
Andy Bockelman / Craig Daily Press |

Western Slope League basketball charges into the penultimate week of the season with key games for girls teams and boys teams, starting Friday night.

The Aspen and Basalt high school teams will hit the road for critical conference games Saturday as well as tonight.

Aspen will travel to Parachute for games against Grand Valley, starting with the girls varsity at 6 p.m. The Aspen boys will take on the Grand Valley boys at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday, Aspen will make the long trip to Gunnison for afternoon games.

Basalt, meanwhile, will make the long trip to Gunnison on Friday. And on Saturday, Basalt will play at Grand Valley.

The Aspen boys (3-7-0 in the Western Slope League, 6-9 overall) will be battling for tournament seeding when they play at Grand Valley (8-2 in league, 12-3 overall). The Cardinals also will be fighting for playoff positioning. They are a half-game behind Coal Ridge (9-2) in the boys league standings.

The Aspen boys are coming off a tough 63-52 loss at league-leading Coal Ridge earlier this week.

Tristan Niskanen scored 14 points to lead the Skiers. Jack Rosenthal added 13.

Zack George scored 10, all coming in the third quarter.

The Skiers cut into a big Coal Ridge halftime lead in the third quarter, pulling within 49-45.

But Coal Ridge scored 14 fourth-quarter points and held the Skiers to only seven in the 11-point win. Coal Ridge, just a few days earlier, lost a 61-57 double-overtime game at Gunnison.

The Aspen girls played one of their best games of the season in a tough 44-32 loss at Coal Ridge earlier this week.

“The (girls) played their best basketball of the season,” said Aspen girls coach Greg Peterson.

He said the Aspen girls passed effectively and scored from the inside and outside.

The Skiers were within 32-30 entering the fourth quarter against the Titans.

But homestanding Coal Ridge eased away in the final period for the win.

Cliara Sanchez scored 10 points and had eight rebounds for Aspen.

Liza Vecchiarello had 11 rebounds and four steals.

Mckenna Woodrow scored eight for the Skiers (1-13 overall, 0-9 in the Western Slope League).

The Aspen girls will take on a 12-3 Grand Valley team Friday. The Cardinals are 8-2 in the girls WSL.

The Basalt girls (2-8 in league, 2-13 overall) will test the Gunnison girls (3-7 in league, 5-10 overall) before taking on Grand Valley on Saturday. The Longhorns lost 53-33 at Delta earlier this week.

The Basalt boys, coming off a nonconference victory at Delta (61-52), will put their record on the line at Gunnison. The Basalt boys are 12-3 overall and 7-3 in the Western Conference. Their third league loss came on the road at Moffat County, which has won four games in a row.

Mike Glen led the Longhorns at Moffat County with 18 points. Raul Torres added 10.

Keenan Hildebrandt scored 15 for the Bulldogs; Dylan Kincade scored 13.

The Gunnison boys are 5-5 in league and 7-8 overall. They won at Aspen last weekend 62-51 and then stunned league-leading Coal Ridge 61-57 in double OT.

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