Titan girls outduel Aspen
PEACH VALLEY – The Coal Ridge girls basketball team came out hitting on all cylinders in the fourth quarter Friday night and broke open a tight game, outscoring the visiting Aspen Skiers 23-7 and taking a much needed 56-40 Class 3A Western Slope League victory.”We’re trying to get the best seed possible for the upcoming district tournament,” said first-year coach Tiffany Robison. “And this is a step in the right direction for our team.”Early on, it looked as if Aspen guard Julia Hassall might try to put the entire Skier team on her back and carry them to victory. Hassall netted 14 points in the first half alone on a variety of drives to the basket and managed to spot teammates Grace Seigle and Kylie Westerlind for open 3-pointers to account for a bulk of the Aspen offense.But with steady Coal Ridge post player Kaitlin Moeller gathering rebounds and scoring seven points of her own in the first half, the Titans trailed only 25-22 at the intermission.
Aspen extended the lead to five points at the 5:40 mark of the third period when Reghan Mahaffey hit a jumper along the baseline, but a corner shot by Coal Ridge’s Mikaela Guettler and a steal and layup by teammate Kelly Romero cut the Skier lead to 27-26.This was the start of a 9-0 Titan scoring run that culminated with a nice give-and-go basket from Morgan Jessup to Guettler to put the home team up by six points.”We’ve been playing together for a long time, since the sixth grade,” said Guettler, speaking of her running mate, Jessup. “We always know where each other is at.”With the score all knotted up at 33 entering the fourth quarter, both teams needed to make one final push to achieve the victory.
It was the Titans who made the decisive move.With Callie Schlegel hitting a 3-pointer early in the final period and then following that up with two free throws, Coal Ridge led 38-34.Jessup continued to fuel the Titan run with three baskets of her own and with point guard Daile Gray breaking down the Aspen defense with crisp passes and drives to the basket, Skier coach Jeremy Haack was forced to take a time-out.The first Aspen field goal of the final quarter did not come until the 3:20 mark when Seigle hit her fourth 3-pointer of the evening, which brought the skiers to within seven, but the Skiers were to get no closer as Coal Ridge finished the game with a 12-3 run.
With the victory, the Titans (2-9 WSL, 6-10 overall) avoid the conference cellar and hope to build some season-ending momentum.”This win helps to bring our team together and builds confidence going into the next three games,” said Jessup.The Titans were led in scoring by Jessup with 12 points followed closely by Guettler who ended the night with 11 points. Daile Gray and Kaitlin Moeller each chipped in with nine points.The Skiers (1-10 WSL, 2-14 overall) were led in scoring by Hassall with 17 points, but she managed just three free throws in the second half. Grace Seigle had 12 points, all on 3-pointers.
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This season, when I attend basketball games at Glenwood Springs High School for this newspaper, I sit in the stands on the south side of the gym with a clear vantage point to all of…