GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Steve Ketchum had no idea what to expect.
Fielding a team shy on experience, the Aspen High School boys basketball coach flew blind into Thursday's season opener at Glenwood Springs.
"I saw guys sitting on the bench and their hands were shaking," Ketchum noted. "They were so nervous."
Once Ketchum's Skiers actually took the court, though, they played more like seasoned professionals than varsity neophytes.
Junior Trent Lichtenwalter's 25 points and a pesky defense helped Aspen to a 56-30 win at Glenwood Springs on the opening night of the Demon Invitational.
"They played much better than we could have hoped for," Ketchum said. "We lost our top five players, four to graduation and then our top returning player moved away to Texas. It was a whole rebuilding group."
Glenwood Springs has experience issues, too. Compounding matters, the Demons were without Collin Porterfield, one of their top players. The 6-foot-3 senior broke his hand in a freakish off-court incident earlier this week.
"We have a very young basketball team," Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock said. "I think they'll do a good job of working on getting better. I'm trying to get the guys to figure out to give a little more effort. We're a young basketball team, not necessarily in term of age, but in experience."
Grant Fegan's nine points led Glenwood, which fell behind 12-5 after a quarter and 29-14 at halftime. Brian Burbidge added eight points.
The Skiers forced turnovers in droves, especially in the second half. Transition buckets resulted, and their lead kept on growing and growing.
"Our defense was great," Lichtenwalter said. "We got in the passing lanes, got steals."
The Demons, now 1-1 on the young season, shot at a 23.8 percent clip from the field, hitting just 10 of the 42 shots they put up.
Luke Rider and Clayton Crawford finished with 11 points apiece for Aspen, which will face Eagle Valley tonight in Glenwood as the Demon Invitational resumes. Tipoff is slated for 4:30 p.m.
Faith Christian, Class 3A's five-time defending champion, is next for Glenwood Springs. That game begins at 7:30 p.m. Glenwood's girls face Faith Christian at 6 p.m.