Coal Ridge boys drop one to Aspen
PEACH VALLEY – The Coal Ridge boys basketball team gave state-ranked Aspen all it could handle Friday night before finally being overtaken, 42-33.Aspen, which is No. 9 according to RockyPreps, jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, but neither team could manage another bucket until the 1:42 mark of the first period when Coal Ridge guard Tyler Williams scored on a breakaway layup and then scored inside again off a nice feed from Andy Smedra.
Alex Klein scored inside to bring the Titans within one, then Eric Schmitz hit a 3-pointer to give Coal Ridge its first lead of the game at 9-7.The Skiers, who hadn’t scored since midway through the first period, finally broke the drought late in the second period when Blake Wilcox hit a free throw. But Skyler James then scored just before halftime to send the Titans into the break with an 18-11 lead.Unfortunately for Coal Ridge, the second half turned into the Tommy Rittenhouse show. The Aspen guard scored 15 second-half points including two 3-pointers during a Skier run that saw them outscore the home team 18-6 during the third period.
With James scoring and Schmitz opening the fourth quarter of play with a 3-pointer, the Aspen lead was trimmed to 29-27.Rittenhouse then hit yet another 3 to give Aspen a 38-29 lead and the Titans were playing catch up.”We just didn’t come out with the same defensive intensity in the second half that we had in the first,” said Coal Ridge head coach Mike Cox. “We let Rittenhouse loose and didn’t do a good job of closing out on him. If we had, the outcome may have been different.”
The Titans (4-7 Class 3A Western Slope League, 7-9 overall) hit the road tomorrow to face Olathe, and Cox says he will miss the energy of Friday’s home crowd. “The crowd tonight was great,” he said. “It’s so nice to see the people and the student body so fired up. It helps our team.”Coal Ridge was led in scoring by James who ended the night with 12 points. Aspen (10-1, 13-3) was led in the scoring column by Rittenhouse with 18 points, including four 3 pointers.
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