Skiers boys one win away from league title | AspenTimes.com
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Skiers boys one win away from league title

Nate PetersonThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN With a rare Saturday night off, Aspen boys basketball coach Steve Ketchum traveled to Carbondale to scout Roaring Fork before Tuesday’s rivalry rematch at the Skier Dome.He didn’t expect to be on hand for one of the biggest upsets of the prep basketball season – a 75-67 Cedaredge victory over the sixth-ranked Rams that put Aspen just one win way from a 3A Western Slope title.”I was just absolutely shell shocked,” said Ketchum of Roaring Fork’s loss, its second defeat in the Slope this season after Aspen snapped its 53-game league winning streak in January. “Cedaredge played the perfect game. They played fearless.”It’s the kind of game fifth-ranked Aspen will have to play Tuesday if it is to knock off the Rams for the second time this season, Ketchum said.With the Rams’ loss, Aspen can wrap up the league championship with a win Tuesday night. It the Skiers lose, they’ll still be in the driver’s seat, needing only a win over Cedaredge – which before Saturday had only two league wins – to clinch the crown.Ketchum said he’s not even considered the latter scenario.”That’s not one of our goals,” he said. “We want to win both and finish undefeated in league. It’s important for state ranking, seeding for the district tournament, all that stuff. … We want to host a home regional. You don’t want to go on the road for regionals, because the teams that do typically lose.”Roaring Fork (14-3, 10-2 Western Slope) still has an outside shot of claiming another league title if it wins out and Aspen loses its final two games. Ketchum said he expects the Rams to come out fired up Tuesday after Saturday’s loss. Roaring Fork led for the first three quarters before going cold in the fourth, while Cedaredge heated up.The Skiers, meanwhile, are rearing to go themselves after a month of games in which they were rarely tested. Aspen beat Coal Ridge on Friday night by 19 points – its ninth straight double-digit win. The last time the Skiers found themselves in a close game was in Carbondale when they pulled out a 61-57 win in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.”This is exciting,” Ketchum said of Tuesday’s game. “This is what you play for. It’s a big game against a really good team. They’re the caliber of team that we’ll see in the state tournament. That’s the kind of team you want to have success against.”Olathe shocks top-ranked Basalt No. 1 no more.After weeks spent holding top spot in 3A, Basalt’s girls basketball team will have to get used to something else this week. That’s because the Longhorns lost Friday night for just the second time this season, falling at Olathe, 57-52.Basalt’s struggles continued Saturday against Gunnison. The Longhorns eked out a 58-55 win over the Cowboys less than three weeks after drubbing the same team by 27 points.The trying weekend came with a silver lining: Basalt locked up the 3A Western Slope championship with Saturday’s victory.Senior guard Kat Fitzpatrick led the way Saturday, finishing with 19 points. Fitzpatrick finished with one 3-pointer and went 4-of-6 from the free-throw line.Senior center Dayne Toney added 14 points and Hailey Guglielmo had nine.Longhorns coach Carolyn Compton wasn’t available for comment Sunday night.npeterson@aspentimes.com


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