Skier boys find mixed bag of results |

Skier boys find mixed bag of results

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The Aspen High School boys basketball team experienced a little of everything this weekend at a Steamboat Springs tournament.

The expanding Steamboat Shoot-Out, once a draw for a small number of Colorado schools, is now attracting teams from Wyoming and as far away as Tennessee ? a factor that helped deal AHS an early tourney loss.

The Skiers first faced Cheyenne Central ? a 5A school of nearly 1,200 students. Though they faced a larger, stronger team, the 3A Skiers “really played 3 1/2 outstanding quarters,” coach Steve Ketchum said.

Senior Skier Josh Lackey had seven points within the first minute and a half, and Aspen dominated until the last three minutes of the game.

Turnovers and fouls allowed Cheyenne Central to pull away.

“We didn’t play smart,” Ketchum said.

The Wyoming team pulled out a 66-60 win.

“This was truly depressing, because this was our chance to show everybody how much we’ve grown up,” he said.

On Friday, AHS faced Middle Park, another 3A team that lost its tourney opener. It was Aspen’s only easy night of the tournament.

“They weren’t really strong ? we blew them out 69-43,” Ketchum said. “We played all 13 of our players that were dressed out. In the first quarter, we jumped out to 10-0 lead and never looked back.”

Nick Farrell narrowly missed recording the first quadruple double in AHS history, finishing with 18 points, 10 assists, 10 steals, and nine rebounds. Senior Phil Salazar scored 16, and Teddy Farrell shot 4-for-5 from the field for nine points.

AHS entered the tournament’s fifth-place “consolation” game on Saturday against 4A Conifer High. Aspen led 11-9 in the first quarter and stretched it to 28-21 at the half.

However, a combination of poor defense and bad shot selection from the Skiers gave Conifer a chance to recover.

With two minutes left, Conifer went up one. Aspen senior Zac Paris pulled out the win, however, with a 10-foot baseline jumper. Brett Mufson hit two free throws to end the game in 55-52 for Aspen.

Farrell led scoring with 15 points, Mufson followed with 12, and Farrell had 9 points.

The tournament was a mixed bag for the Skiers, but the team left happy, Ketchum said.

“Two wins and a loss ? we’re encouraged. We really feel like we’re making progress every game,” he said.

Next up, Aspen travels to Cedaredge for a 7:30 p.m. game on Thursday. The matchup will be Aspen’s last before the holiday break ? a prospect, Ketchum says, that could leave “a wonderful lasting taste in your mouth, or a really bad taste that will last for a couple of weeks.”

And ? piling on the pressure ? Cedaredge will be Aspen’s first league opponent of the season.

“For us, this is when our season really starts,” Ketchum said.

Cedaredge, a veteran of the 2001-2002 state championships, returns this season with “two of the best post players in the league,” he said.

“It’s going to be a battle to try to keep their scoring down and keep them from dominating the boards.”

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