Preps break for the holidays

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Ryan Fitzgerald of the Aspen Skiers carries the puck behind the net against Regis Jesuit last week. The Aspen High School hockey team will return to action Jan. 9 at Resurrection Christian in Loveland.
Aubree Dallas / The Aspen Times |

Break time.

Area high school sports teams head into the holiday break this week with an eye on the upcoming 2015 portion of their schedules.

Both the Aspen and Basalt boys basketball teams head into the break on the heels of big victories last weekend.

The Skiers, playing at home, pulled away for a 68-49 victory over Vail Christian in a nonconference game, improving the AHS boys to 4-1 to start the season.

The Skiers had four players in double figures in the win over the Saints, led by Evan Patzoldt with 23 points and Jack Rosenthal with 17.

Shayne Ormond, with a pair of 3-pointers, added 14 points for the Skiers.

Dominick Alcorta posted another double-double for Aspen with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Skiers, under first-year head coach Rolf Schildman, also beat Rifle, Hotchkiss and Eagle Valley in the 2014 part of their schedule. Their only loss was in the season-opener against Rifle in the Brenda Patch Tournament in Carbondale.

Aspen avenged that loss with a 57-53 win over Rifle in a game played in Aspen on Dec. 12.

The 4-1 start will lead the Aspen boys into the Western Slope League schedule, starting with the league opener Jan. 9 at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale.

Aspen will host Olathe on Jan. 16 before traveling to Grand Valley on Jan. 17.

The Basalt boys also are coming off a rousing road victory — a 58-48 win at Cedaredge on Saturday night.

“We were down almost the whole game,” Basalt head coach Danny Martinez said. “We were down 10 with 4 minutes to go.”

That’s when Martinez turned to his energizer twins — Pedro and Pablo Rivera.

“I put the twins in again, and we started pressing,” Martinez said.

A turnover led to another turnover.

“And we converted at the other end,” said Martinez, a former standout player at Basalt who is in his second year as the boys head coach. “We scored 29 points in the fourth quarter.”

Michael Glen scored 12 to lead Basalt. Wade Soho added 10 points.

“He was awesome,” Martinez said. “The guys are starting to understand. They’re starting to learn to keep their composure.”

That helped the comeback victory that sent the Longhorns into the holiday break 2-2.

The Basalt boys will jump back into action Jan. 6 when they host Coal Ridge. Basalt will host Roaring Fork on Jan. 10.

The Longhorns lost a 46-30 game at Roaring Fork two weeks ago.

Girls basketball

The Aspen girls and Basalt girls teams will be looking for their first victories when the calendar turns to 2015.

The AHS girls are 0-4 as they launch a new era under defensive-minded head coach Debbie Alcorta, a former longtime coach at Basalt.

The Basalt girls, under first-year head coach Josh Mink, also are 0-4 to open the season.

The Basalt girls will host Coal Ridge on Jan. 6.

The Aspen girls will play at Roaring Fork on Jan. 9.

Aspen hockey

Aspen High School hockey also skates into the holiday break this week.

The Skiers, with a blockbuster early season schedule, are coming off back-to-back losses to powerhouses Cherry Creek and Regis.

Both losses came on Aspen’s home ice. The Skiers lost 2-1 to Cherry Creel at Lewis Ice Arena.

One day later, the Skiers lost 8-1 to top-ranked and undefeated Regis Jesuit 8-1 on the smaller ice surface at the Aspen Ice Garden.

The AHS hockey team, under first-year head coach Dru Lucchesi, are 2-4 to start the season.

The Skiers will return to action Jan. 9 when they travel to Loveland to take on Resurrection Christian.

Aspen’s next home game in prep hockey will be Jan. 16 when Dakota Ridge visits the Lewis Ice Arena at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC).

Basalt wrestling

The Basalt High School wrestling team, including a wrestler from Aspen, is on break until Jan. 10 when the Longhorns head to the Eagle Valley Tournament in Gypsum.

A week later, the BHS wrestlers will travel to a dual in Salida on Jan. 16.

The annual Salida Invitational will be held the following day — Jan. 17.