‘Whole other ball game’ when AHS hosts Roaring Fork tonight | AspenTimes.com

‘Whole other ball game’ when AHS hosts Roaring Fork tonight

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Now 6-0 in the new year, Aspen High boys hoops is looking ahead to its next big hurdle ? Carbondale rival Roaring Fork.

The Skiers, second in the 3A Western Slope League standings and 8-3 overall, collected two smooth victories over the weekend during a road trip to Olathe then Gunnison. But AHS coach Steve Ketchum says the real test of the Skiers’ streak will come at 7 p.m. tonight when they play Roaring Fork at the AHS gym (preceded by the girls varsity game at 5:30 p.m.).

The Rams, fresh from a winning streak of their own, will keep AHS on its toes tonight, Ketchum said.

“Anytime we play Roaring Fork or Basalt, it’s a huge game, and you never know what’s going to happen,” he said.

That was evident during a Roaring Fork game last season, when Aspen squeaked out a triple-overtime win, the coach said. And again just two weeks ago, when Aspen pulled off a mere eight-point win during a visit to Carbondale.

But Ketchum hopes for a repeat of the weekend’s wins.

AHS traveled to Olathe on Friday for their first quick win of the weekend, an 83-49 victory over the 3A Western Slope League’s last-place team. The game was sandwiched by two high-scoring quarters, Ketchum reported, as Aspen claimed 24 and 27 points, respectively, in the opening and closing periods.

Aspen saw 12 players in the scoring column of Friday’s game, Ketchum said, led by senior Nick Farrell with 26 points and 12 assists, followed by seniors Phil Salazar with 16 points and Josh Lackey with 13. Freshman Ari Karl also made the scoring roster in his varsity debut, becoming the first ninth-grader to “play up” for the Skiers in three years.

“They had a good JV game, so we rewarded a lot of those kids,” Ketchum said.

On Saturday, the Skiers moved on to Gunnison for another relatively easy win ? this time, 68-46. AHS was again helped along by two stellar first quarters, outscoring Gunnison 24-10 in the opening period and 22-12 coming out of halftime.

Farrell and senior Bret Mufson led scoring with 12 points each, followed by Salazar with 10 and junior Moss Schermerhorn with nine.

“Moss really got us going ? he scored seven in the first quarter,” Ketchum said.

The end result of a breezy weekend, Ketchum hopes, is a confidence boost ? one that will help them through a tough game tonight.

“Hopefully, we came out of it really, really positive,” he said. “It was a fairly easy weekend for us, but now we understand, when Carbondale comes to town, it’s a whole other ball game. They know how the intensity level picks up.”

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