Prep reset: Aspen, Basalt sports swing back into action this weekend

Aspen High hockey vs. Doherty on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, at Aspen Ice Garden.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

After a long holiday break, it’s time for the area high school sports teams to get back to competition. Friday is the first day back for a few of the teams, with more to follow in the coming days. Below is a team-by-team breakdown of where each stands heading into 2018 play.

Aspen boys basketball

Record: 1-4

Next game: Today vs. Moffat County in Denver

It’s been a rough start to the season for the Skiers. They replaced four starters from a season ago and are still waiting for it to come together in coach Alex Schrempf’s second season at the helm. AHS beat Soroco 50-33 in the season opener before dropping the next four games, the most recent an 81-51 loss at Vail Christian on Dec. 15. Friday’s 2018 opener will be played a 3 p.m. against a solid Moffat County team at the Pepsi Center in Denver, part of a special deal with the Nuggets. Aspen’s next home game is Tuesday night against Rangely.

Aspen girls basketball

Record: 1-4

Next game: Today vs. Moffat County in Denver

On one hand, the lone win for the Skiers matches their win total of each of the past three years, so getting over that one-win mark for the first time since any of the players got to high school could happen. However, that one win came against a junior varsity team from a bigger school, and the four losses weren’t competitive. As with the boys, the AHS girls open 2018 Friday against Moffat County in Denver before hosting Rangely on Tuesday.

Aspen hockey

Record: 3-2-1

Next game: Today at Battle Mountain

The Aspen hockey team enters 2018 3-0-1 in conference play. The last time the Skiers played, they beat Doherty 9-2 at the Ice Garden. Overall, AHS is in a good spot entering 2018. Still, the scoreless draw against conference foe Columbine nags at them and the two losses — 5-1 at Cherry Creek and 8-1 at Regis Jesuit — weren’t pretty, even if the opponents are arguably the two best teams in the state. AHS opens 2018 play Friday at Battle Mountain, a team it beat 5-4 on Dec. 12 in Aspen. The Huskies knocked AHS out of the state playoffs a year ago.

AHS girls swimming

Next meet: Jan. 13 at Grand Junction

The Aspen girls swim team still has a week to get ready for its 2018 debut. The Skiers look strong despite the losses of Kennidy Quist and Hannah Freeman from a year ago. They’ve faired shockingly well in the bigger meets, led by Davy Brown and Emily Driscoll. It’s going to take some work to defend their 2017 state championship, but it’s certainly not out of the question. The state meet is the second week of February.

Aspen skiing

Next meets: Jan. 12 and 13

The Aspen High ski teams will soon get their seasons underway. The alpine team was supposed to start today with a meet at Ski Cooper, but the meet was canceled because of snow conditions. This means the alpine team’s opener will be Jan. 12 at Aspen Highlands. The Nordic team opens its season Jan. 13 at Steamboat Springs. AHS is only two years removed from a state championship on the girls side and is expected to return many of their top athletes from a year ago.

Basalt boys basketball

Record: 1-6

Next game: Tuesday at Roaring Fork

Life after Michael Glen has proven difficult for the Longhorns. Glen, who is now starring for the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, was the sort of player who doesn’t come along in 3A basketball too often. Basalt’s lone win came in the second game, a 68-25 romp over Las Animas. Many of their games have been relatively competitive, but BHS has fallen on the wrong side of the scoreboard each time. 2018 gets underway Tuesday against a strong Roaring Fork team down in Carbondale.

Basalt girls basketball

Record: 2-6

Next game: Tuesday at Roaring Fork

The record isn’t great, but the Longhorns seem to be trending upward. After no more than three wins over a five-year span, BHS won five games a season ago, the first under coach Kat Fitzpatrick. Most of their games have been competitive this season, with wins coming against Las Animas and Montezuma-Cortez. Roaring Fork will be a difficult test on Tuesday.

Basalt wrestling

Next meet: Saturday at Eagle Valley

It’s been a mixed bag for Basalt wrestling so far this season, but there is still plenty of optimism to be had. The team has plenty of depth and both of its returning state qualifiers from a year ago — seniors Oswaldo Morales (heavyweight) and William Rivera (195 pounds) are expected to make a return trip to the state tournament. There are a handful of names that could possibly join them, should regionals go their way. BHS heads to a tournament hosted by Eagle Valley on Saturday before traveling for a dual Tuesday at Moffat County.