Aspen High boys basketball tops Grand Valley, remains unbeaten at 12-0 |

Aspen High boys basketball tops Grand Valley, remains unbeaten at 12-0

Aspen High School senior Porter Lee rises up for a shot against Grand Valley on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, inside the AHS gymnasium. The Skiers won, 65-39.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

With the final games of the regular season just down the road, the Aspen High School boys basketball team continues to move forward at a steady clip with little opposition. The latest test came Saturday, a 65-39 AHS home victory over Grand Valley that keeps the Skiers undefeated.

“We had a little celebration in there for being 12-0,” first-year AHS head coach Cory Parker said of the post-game talk. “They deserve it. They’ve been working hard. Super stoked for them.”

Offensively, the game may have been a bit sloppier than Aspen has proven capable of and the Cardinals, now 6-7 overall, were a scrappy group that put up a fight even though they never truly threatened the home team’s perfect mark. Aspen led 18-6 after a quarter, 35-19 at halftime and 44-28 after three quarters.

Senior Simon Holloway led the Skiers with 14 points, while senior Porter Lee chipped in 12 points.

“This afternoon was definitely one of our games with the most highs and lows that we’ve had, or the most inconsistencies,” Parker said. “Trying to put the 32-minute strings together, that’s what we are really practicing for.”

Aspen (12-0 overall, 3-0 Western Slope League) was ranked No. 4 in Class 3A this past week by Sterling was holding down the top spot, followed by No. 2 St. Mary’s and No. 3 Colorado Academy. AHS, which also beat Delta (74-54) and Vail Christian (83-36) earlier in the week, is the only undefeated team remaining in the classification across the state, according to the RPI rankings.

Aspen did lose one of its top players, senior Shae Korpela, during Saturday’s game with Grand Valley to an ankle sprain, although Parker doesn’t expect him to be out long. His brother, senior Braden Korpela, has been out dealing with his own injury, although Parker is hopeful that he’ll have both twins back by the postseason.

“With Braden and Shae being out, this is such a great opportunity for some of these other guys who are coming in,” Parker said. “We don’t want them to try and take the place of Braden Korpela and Shae Korpela. We want them to come in and do what they do, but maybe now we are expecting them to do it at a higher level than what they are used to. But those guys are pretty irreplaceable.”

Up next, the Skiers will step out of league play with a game Tuesday at Rifle, followed by a home league game on Thursday against Gunnison.

An exciting and late addition to the schedule is a Feb. 10 trip to Highland High School, located just north of Greeley. The Huskies are one of the top teams in 3A, having entered this past week ranked No. 8 in the state, and will give the Skiers the sort of test they haven’t had so far this season.

Aspen’s final regular season game is Feb. 17 at Coal Ridge.

“We are super stoked for that opportunity to try and get to the Front Range and get tested a little bit to prepare for the state tournament,” Parker said of the game with Highland and of making the postseason. “That’s something we are building for, absolutely. And then just continuing to try and put 32 minutes together.”

The Basalt boys basketball team finished the weekend 4-8 overall and 1-2 in WSL play after a 64-51 loss to Coal Ridge on Friday. The BHS girls are 5-7 (0-3 WSL) after losing to Coal Ridge on Friday, 48-38. Aspen does not have a varsity girls team this season.

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