Preps from April 17: AHS boys lax beats Glenwood, soccer rolls over Grand Valley
It wasn’t always pretty and it wasn’t a league game, but it was a win and a necessary lesson for the Aspen High School boys lacrosse team as it enters the home stretch.
“A lot of frustrations,” AHS coach David Miller said. “We need to get back down to basics and have fun out here. I think the kids are gripping their sticks too much and not taking care of the little stuff. The little stuff leads to the big stuff, and the big stuff wins games.”
Despite this, the Skiers pulled out a 10-6 win over visiting Glenwood Springs High School on Tuesday at wintry Iselin Field. AHS led 6-2 at halftime, but the Demons had narrowed their deficit to only 7-5 by the end of the third quarter.
The difference came with two quick Aspen goals to open the fourth quarter, keeping the Demons from continuing their comeback attempt.
“Glenwood has a really good team. They are looking good for the future,” Miller said. “Penalties killed us, once again. We have to play to how the refs are calling the games. Something we’ve been struggling with for the last two years.”
The loss dropped Glenwood to 3-8 overall on the season, while Aspen improved to 5-2 overall. The Skiers’ only two losses are to the teams currently ranked No. 1 (Thompson Valley) and No. 7 (Steamboat Springs) in Class 4A. AHS re-entered the CHSAANow.com poll at No. 10 in the state this week and continues to hold down a top-10 RPI.
AHS has seven games remaining on the schedule, beginning with a Friday trip to Montrose. The Skiers also play Saturday at Durango. A 15th game could be added back to the schedule after last week’s game at Summit was called off because of weather.
Also Tuesday, the Aspen girls lacrosse team pulled out an 11-8 win at Grand Junction to improve to 6-3 overall. AHS will play today at Battle Mountain, a makeup from Friday’s game that was postponed because of weather. The Aspen girls beat Battle Mountain 11-2 when they met March 14 on the AHS turf.
Chaos reigns in girls soccer
The Class 3A conference that features both Aspen and Basalt girls soccer teams is trying to take shape, but instead has become a free-for-all.
Tuesday, Aspen ran through visiting Grand Valley on the AHS turf, winning 12-2 after leading 8-2 at halftime. The Skiers led 3-0 early but watched as the Cardinals quickly got two back to cut their deficit back to a single goal. By the break, the game was well out of hand.
Standout freshman Kelley Francis led AHS with five goals.
Downvalley in Basalt, the Longhorns let one slip away against visiting Delta, losing 3-2 on Tuesday. BHS led 2-0 at halftime but couldn’t hang on in the crucial league game.
It was the first league loss for Basalt, which fell to 6-2-1 overall. Aspen improved to 7-3. Both teams remain very much in contention for the league title, with Roaring Fork and Coal Ridge currently leading the pack, along with Vail Mountain.
Aspen is off until Saturday when it is scheduled to host Moffat County, which like Grand Valley is bringing up the rear of the league. Basalt heads to Grand Valley on Thursday before hosting Roaring Fork on Saturday in a non-league game. BHS will play in Carbondale against the Rams on April 28 in their lone league contest.
Aspen girls golf seventh in Rifle
Despite cold, blistery conditions, the Rifle Invitational went off as planned on Tuesday at the Rifle Creek Golf Course, with the Aspen High School girls golf team finishing seventh in a field of 11 teams. The host Bears won the team title by four strokes over Grand Junction. Battle Mountain was third, 15 strokes behind Rifle.
“With these conditions today, I’m proud of my team and their perseverance that they showed throughout the challenging weather and hilly course,” AHS coach Don Buchholz wrote via email.
Grand Junction star Gracie Olkowski was among the few to overcome the weather, shooting a 2-over-par 74 for the win. Rifle’s Elly Walters was second with 80.
Zoe Guthrie led Aspen, shooting 101 for 16th place. AHS’s Avery Hirsch shot 124 to tie for 36th and Hailey Higdon shot 132 to finish in 43rd.
Rifle will host Aspen’s Class 3A regional tournament on May 8.
Weather causes problems elsewhere
Tuesday at Crawford Field in El Jebel, the Aspen High School baseball team hosted Basalt only to have the game be suspended in the bottom of the third inning because of weather. AHS led 3-0 with senior pitcher Jamison Fuentes recording eight strikeouts over that span.
The teams hope to finish the game on a later date. Until then, Aspen is scheduled to take its 8-2 record to Coal Ridge on Saturday. Basalt (4-3-1) is scheduled to host Gunnison on Saturday.
Also Tuesday, the Aspen High School girls tennis team had been scheduled to play at Glenwood Springs, but the match was called off. The Skiers next play Saturday at Paonia, beginning at 10 a.m.
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