Skiers boys slap 94 on Hotchkiss |

Skiers boys slap 94 on Hotchkiss

Nate PetersonAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN This was more like the Skiers that all the Front Range papers were talking about during the preseason. After going 3-2 before the holiday break, Aspen’s boys basketball team delivered a message during its first game of the new year, pounding overmatched Hotchkiss on Saturday, 94-24. Hotchkiss’ only chance in this one was that the Skiers wouldn’t be able to make the trip with all the snow. No such luck.All-state power forward Cory Parker led the Skiers with 24 points, Tommy Rittenhouse had 21 and Michael Taylor added 19. Rittenhouse went 6-of-7 from the 3-point point line and Taylor had three dunks. Coach Steve Ketchum said the 70-point margin of victory was the largest in his 10 seasons at Aspen. And it could have been worse for the Bulldogs.”We played everybody, all 10 kids, and we only pressed for a little more than a quarter,” said Ketchum, whose previous-best winning margin was a 60-point win during his first season at Aspen. “It’s a great confidence builder.”The Skiers need all the confidence they can get. Aspen hosts downvalley rival Basalt on Friday night, then heads to Carbondale on Saturday to tangle with rival Roaring Fork – a team Aspen’s talented group of seniors has never beaten. The Rams have won 53 straight league games, dating back to February 2003. “First of all, we’ve got to beat Basalt first,” said Ketchum, whose team drubbed the Longhorns, 57-27, in the first meeting on Dec. 8. “They had two outstanding guards who didn’t play in that [first] game, so they’ll be improved. All season long, though, we’ve had Roaring Fork penciled in. It’s a must-win. The league title is on the line. We’ll just have to have a great defensive effort.”In practice, Ketchum has been preparing his team for the Rams by challenging them to be more physical.”The rap on the Aspen kids is that they’re these spoiled rich kids, and to everybody else, they’re weak and soft,” Ketchum said. “That’s what I’m looking at in practice. We’ve been working on not being soft. Being tough. We’re literally trying to play a Roaring Fork style of ball. They’ll go through you, over you and not worry about you when getting a loose ball, and we’ve got to play the same way.”Aspen hockey avenges earlier lossNew year. New start.Aspen’s hockey team opened 2008 by exacting a measure of revenge against Peak to Peak, the 5A Foothills League foe that handed the Skiers a 3-1 loss in their last game before the holiday break. Aspen (4-3) opened its Front Range road trip – and the second half of the season – with a 4-3 win over Dakota Ridge on Friday. The defending state champion Skiers outshot the Eagles, 29-12, and led 4-1 late in the third period before surrendering two late goals.Saturday, against the Pumas, Aspen rallied for four third-period goals in a 5-4 win.Aspen trailed 2-0 after the first period and was down 3-1 after two before its offensive explosion in the final period.Simon Dolginow scored the game-winning goal on an assist from Daniel Doremus. The goal was Dolginow’s second of the game and third of the weekend. Doremus finished with three assists in the win over the Pumas.Tyler Moore had the first Aspen goal off an assist from Ricky Frias and finished with two assists. Frias had three assists of his own. Aspen’s other scorers were Nicky Ufkes and Maggie Melberg, who also had a goal in the Skiers’ win Friday night.”I think they finally realized what they need to do to score goals and play hockey,” said Aspen coach Al Butler. “You obviously don’t want to peak too soon. We’ve got some younger players and we’re still trying to get them acclimated to our style. That game against Peak to Peak was a huge turning point, however. It shows we’re capable of beating any one of the teams at any time, as long as we play hard.”Butler started Alex Owen in net Friday, then went with Zach Ware on Saturday. Owen made nine saves in his three periods, while Ware stopped 32 of 35 shots against Peak to Peak. Butler expects to use a three-goalie rotation up until the playoffs, and then go with the hottest goalie at that point.”Zach has kind of emerged as the No. 1 guy right now, but we’ll see how it goes,” he said. Aspen’s next two games are on home ice, starting with Colorado Academy at 6 p.m. Friday. The Skiers then host Kent Denver at 6 p.m. Saturday.Aspen Girls fall at HotchkissAspen’s girls have cooled off after their surprising 3-0 start. Hotchkiss handed the Skiers their third straight loss Saturday, running out to a 31-10 lead at the half in a lopsided 58-18 win.Aspen (3-3) managed just three points in the third quarter and leading scorer Julia Hassall was limited to 11 total, finishing 1-for-9 on field goals and 2-for-13 from behind the 3-point line. Grace Seigle, Georgia Lipkin and Karrie Kimmell all added two points apiece for the Skiers.Aspen (3-3) next hosts downvalley rival Basalt at 5:30 p.m.

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