Skiers boys stay hot; Girls lose heartbreaker to Coal Ridge
Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN A humbling loss to 3A Western Slope-leading Roaring Fork on Dec. 16 has provided plenty of motivation for Aspen’s boys basketball team.Since then, the Skiers have been dishing out the lopsided losses. The Skiers humiliated Hotchkiss, 59-31, Saturday – the fourth straight win where Aspen held the opposition to less than 40 points. The Skiers (8-3, 5-1 in league) led 38-8 at the half before Ketchum emptied his entire bench in the final 24 minutes.”I was actually a little shocked and embarrassed for the other team,” Ketchum said. “We had a lot of steals and quick baskets, and they just couldn’t score.”
Aspen junior forward Cory Parker outscored the opposition himself in the first half, dropping in 17 points. Parker didn’t start the second half, but re-entered the game midway through third quarter and finished with 29 points, nine rebounds, six steals and four blocked shots.The Skiers were just as stingy on defense Friday in a 54-36 home win over Coal Ridge. Parker finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, and junior Michael Taylor had his best game of the season, adding nine points and pulling down 14 rebounds to go with four steals.”Our defense has just really come on,” Ketchum said. “You have to play phenomenal to hold a team under 40. The last time I had a team that did that, we were ranked second in the state back in Missouri.”The Skiers host rival Basalt (1-9, 1-4) on Tuesday night. The last time the two teams met, Basalt took an early 12-0 lead before Aspen surged back to win, 60-51. Ketchum expects another close game.”They’re playing well right now,” he said. “The last time we played them, it took us three quarters to get it going and get the lead back. Coach [Mike] Green has done an amazing job getting them to believe in themselves … It should be another wild dogfight.”
Skiers girls drop twoAspen senior Taylor Schlepp gave her team a one-point lead over Coal Ridge with 19 seconds to go Friday night, but the Skiers couldn’t finish to earn their second win of the season.Coal Ridge scored on its next possession, then added a free throw after Aspen missed on its final possession and had to foul. The 44-42 loss was Aspen’s second this year by less than two points.”We got down 11 in the second half, fought back, then took a lead with 19 seconds to go,” coach Jeremy Haack said. “I’m proud of them for not quitting, but it just goes to show how valuable each free throw and possession is. One possession was the difference in the game right there.”Skiers junior Julia Hassall finished with 20 points but sat on the bench after fouling for most of the first half. Schlepp and junior Grace Seigle each added six points, and senior Reghan Mahaffey had five.
On Saturday, the Skiers (1-10, 0-6 in 3A Western Slope) fell 48-36 at Hotchkiss. Hassall had 23 points, and sophomore Katy Evans added six.Next up for Aspen is Tuesday’s rivalry game at home against Basalt. The Longhorns have beaten the Skiers by a combined 52 points in two games this season. Then Aspen has back-to-back games against 3A Western Slope-leading Cedaredge. “We’ve got a tough stretch here,” Haack said. “We have a good basketball team, it’s just a matter of playing all four quarters. When you have one good half and one bad one, it’s hard to win the game. The girls are playing hard and they haven’t given up. We’re getting better every day in practice.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is email@example.com
This wasn’t my best work. I still stand by my original picks to win each of the snowboard contests at X Games Aspen 2023, but fate chose poorly. The main lesson? Don’t pick against Mark McMorris, Marcus Kleveland or Scotty James, unless you have a very good reason.