Preps: Aspen football readies for Basalt, BHS volleyball beats Coal Ridge in five

Aspen High School's Kyle McTamaney carries the ball against Steamboat Springs on Saturday, April 10, 2021, on the AHS turf. The Skiers won, 22-7. Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times.

After back-to-back wins, the Aspen High School football team finds itself right in the mix to claim one of only eight playoff spots in the Class 3A spring season. Winning a third straight will come as a significant challenge, however, as the Skiers are set to host rival Basalt on Friday night.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. on the AHS turf. The limited tickets that had been available, mostly by being on a players’ invite list, are accounted for and the general public will not be allowed into the game due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

Aspen (2-2) started the season with back-to-back losses to Glenwood Springs and Rifle, but bounced back with a 40-28 win over Montezuma-Cortez two weeks ago, and last week’s 22-7 win over Steamboat Springs. The Skiers are ranked No. 7 this week in both the poll voted on by the media, and the ever-important RPI.

Basalt (3-1) will look to rebound after losing to Glenwood Springs last week, 21-14, a defeat that cost them their No. 1 ranking. The Longhorns dropped to No. 3 this week in the media poll, behind No. 1 The Classical Academy and No. 2 Glenwood. Rifle is No. 4.

BHS is No. 5 in RPI, a list headlined by Glenwood. The Demons play Rifle on Friday night with a win effectively clinching them the Class 3A West League with only one game to play in the regular season after this weekend.

The Longhorns have dominated the Aspen-Basalt football rivalry in recent years, with the Skiers’ last win over their downvalley rivals coming 21-10 in the regular-season finale in 2013. Basalt has won six straight in the series since.

Basalt volleyball beats Coal Ridge in thriller, stays perfect in WSL

The Basalt High School volleyball team won one of the biggest matches in recent program history on Thursday night, topping powerhouse Coal Ridge 3-2 inside the BHS gymnasium.

The teams were playing for the Class 3A Western Slope League lead. The Titans opened with a 25-17 set win, only to have the Longhorns answer in kind with the same score. Coal Ridge then dominated the third set, 25-11, but Basalt rallied from there with a 25-23 nail-biter in the fourth set.

The fifth and final set went past the finish line, with BHS pulling out a 21-19 victory. It is the seventh straight match win for the Longhorns, now 7-3 overall, who remain unbeaten in WSL play. Coal Ridge dropped to 7-4 overall and now has two league losses.

The spring volleyball season is slated to wrap up next weekend. BHS has four games remaining, next up being a Friday home match against Cedaredge. The Longhorns will come to Aspen on Tuesday for a non-league contest.

The Skiers are 3-7 overall following a 3-0 sweep of Roaring Fork on Tuesday. AHS has won back-to-back games now, pairing with a 3-1 win over Rifle last weekend. Aspen hosts Gunnison on Saturday.

Basalt boys soccer beats Aspen to split season series

The Aspen High School boys soccer team hosted Basalt on Thursday, losing 4-2 on the snowy AHS turf. The Longhorns had a strong offensive first half to lead 3-1 at the break and held on from there.

It was only the second win of the season for Basalt, which is now 2-6-1 overall with only a home non-league game against Roaring Fork on Saturday remaining on its spring schedule.

Aspen fell to 2-6 overall in the loss. One of the Skiers’ two wins this season came March 23 over Basalt, a 4-3 non-league victory. AHS will close out its regular season on Saturday at home against Vail Mountain.