Former Roaring Fork players lead Aspen to wins |

Former Roaring Fork players lead Aspen to wins

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Walker Abrahamovich admitted to being a tad nervous. So did Rebeca Dolores.

Nerves tend to surface when you’re facing your old team, which is exactly what each Aspen senior did in taking the basketball court at Roaring Fork High School on Tuesday.

And both quite enjoyed the Carbondale homecoming, with Abrahamovich scoring 13 points to help the Skier boys to a 59-32 win and Dolores dishing out four assists as the Skier girls outpaced Roaring Fork 46-34.

Wearing a red Aspen jersey in what’s been a heated rivalry between 3A Western Slope League powers in recent years was definitely a little strange for Abrahamovich.

“It was a little bit different,” he conceded. “I really didn’t know what to expect. I was a little nervous, but I thought everything went as smooth as possible.”

From the Skiers’ perspective, anyway.

The Rams, in rebuilding mode after making the state tournament five straight seasons, kept it close in the first quarter, holding a 9-7 lead with 2 minutes, 27 seconds to go. But Aspen surged out front with a 7-2 run to close the frame and added to its lead by outscoring the hosts 16-6 in the second.

Up 30-15 at the break, the Skiers never looked back.

“I thought we did a pretty good job,” said Aspen coach Steve Ketchum, whose team remained undefeated at 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the 3A WSL. “I thought Roaring Fork handled a lot of things we threw at them pretty well. It didn’t feel like a blowout.”

Matthew Holmes led the Skiers with a game-high 15 points, while Andrew Papenfus threw in nine and Trevor Watson had eight. On top of his 13 points, Abrahamovich chipped in with seven rebounds.

Ryan Weimer led Roaring Fork (1-7 overall, 1-5 in the 3A WSL) with 10 points. Jake Hawkins added six and Diego Rubio and Nate Soucie each scored five points.

“You know, we played some pretty good basketball, but we just can’t seem to string it together for more than a quarter or two,” Rams head coach Larry Williams vented.

“We have trouble putting the ball in the basket.”

Dolores didn’t pack quite the scoring punch Abrahamovich did in his return to Carbondale, but she found other ways to contribute as the Skier girls won their first league game.

And, despite a minor case of the jitters, Dolores enjoyed lacing up against her former teammates.

“I was really nervous playing against my old friends, but it felt good,” said Dolores, who spent her freshman and sophomore years at Roaring Fork before transferring to Aspen.

Dolores held a spot on Aspen’s varsity roster last season, though she wasn’t a starter back then. She is now, and her Tuesday minutes proved mighty valuable.

Her three third-quarter assists helped spark a 12-0 Aspen run that spanned the final 3:46 of the frame and turned a 21-all tie into a 33-21 Skier advantage heading into the fourth.

That rally answered a big Roaring Fork push to start the half. Emerging from intermission down 18-13, the scrappy Rams, who suited only six varsity players due to a rash of injuries, scored eight of the third quarter’s first 11 points to knot the game up.

“They hustled all the way to the end,” first-year Roaring Fork coach Nancy Zeigel said. “It’s hard to keep that up for four quarters.”

Zeigel’s assessment was spot on. The Rams (0-8, 0-6) threw their bodies all over the floor in an attempt to hang with the Skiers.

Kathy Vega led Roaring Fork with eight points. Alli Zeigel chipped in with seven and Joey Clingan and Mireya Gutierrez added six points apiece.

Lindsey Anderson fronted the charge for Aspen (3-6, 1-5) with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while Kylie Westerlind struck for 10 points, six rebounds and six blocks and freshman Bailey Everhart scored nine points and grabbed eight boards in just her third varsity game.

Skiers coach Jeremy Haack credited a defense that held Roaring Fork to just a single point in the second quarter.

“I thought we had a great defensive performance,” Haack said. “That’s what we needed to do.”

Both Aspen teams return to the floor Friday at home against Basalt, while Roaring Fork plays host to Meeker in a nonleague contest.

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