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Weekend sports update: Alpine skiing returns, women’s basketball wins both games

Every week, The Forum keeps readers up to date on the latest athletic updates. This week, Westminster College debuted its alpine ski season while men’s and women’s basketball hit the road to play in Nebraska and Colorado.

Sports coverage by The Forum is created in part through a partnership with the Westminster College Athletics Program. 

Five skiers on Westminster’s alpine team finished in the top 10 of Friday’s RMISA Qualifier in the giant slalom. (Photo courtesy Eric Stephens)

Alpine ski

Five skiers on Westminster’s alpine team finished in the top 10 of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Qualifier at Aspen Ski Resort Friday.

The qualifier doesn’t count toward official team scoring. It’s only an extra opportunity for skiers to earn points to qualify for the NCAA Championships at the end of the competition season.

The Denver Invitational started with the giant slalom — a ski race down a winding course marked with flags — Saturday and ended with another slalom Sunday.

Four Griffins made their debut with top 10 finishes at the qualifier Friday. First-year student Mikkel Solbakken finished first in the men’s giant slalom followed by first-year Joachim Mjelde in fifth. Senior Mikkel Wahl finished in sixth.

First-year Henriette Resen finished fifth for the Griffins in the women’s giant slalom followed by first-year Lana Zbasnik in ninth.

First-year Alexandre Coltier finished 12th overall for the men’s team. Junior Juliette Gauthier finished 16th and senior Anika Angriman finished 18th overall for the women’s team.

The Denver Invitational officially began Saturday, where the Griffins competed to begin their season.

Westminster College’s women’s basketball team clinched two wins this weekend, competing on the road in Nebraska and Colorado. (Photo courtesy Justin Green)

Women’s basketball

Women’s basketball hit the road this weekend to play in Nebraska and Colorado.

First, the Griffins beat Chadron State College Friday night with a final score of 80-51.

The team started strong, securing a 45-18 lead by halftime. The Griffins held the Eagles, allowing for only eight points in the first quarter and 10 in the second.

“We had a strong first half, and although we scored really well I was especially happy with our defense,” said head coach Shelley Jarrard.

Westminster maintained its lead throughout the second half, ending with a 29-point win.

The leading scorers of the night was led by a trio of 15-point scorers: junior Sarah McGinley, Junior Mariah Martin and senior Kaitlin Toluono.

“We shared the ball really well and had six players almost reach double figures, which is fantastic,” Jarrard said.

The Griffins kept the momentum, winning against MSU Denver the next night. The final score Saturday night was 59-54.

The two leading scorers of the night were junior Hunter Krebs with 17 points and Martin with 16 points.

“It was good road sweep for our team,” Jarrard said. “Metro rattled us a bit on the quick turnaround game and we turned the ball over too much, but we strung together some great stop when we needed to.”

Westminster held a close two-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but ended up taking an eight-point lead. After MSU Denver cut the lead to four, the Griffins scored seven straight to stretch the lead to 11 points.

Krebs scored seven of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead Westminster to the win.

“Hunter had a great weekend on both ends of the floor and really carried us tonight,” Jarrard said.

After the weekend, the team improved its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record to 8-1 and its overall record to 13-2.

The Griffins will return home to host Regis University on Friday, Jan. 17 and Colorado Christian on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Men’s basketball hit teh road this weekend, beating Chadron State College but falling to MSU Denver. (Photo courtesy: Eric Stephens)

Men’s basketball

The men’s team also hit the road this weekend to play the same two schools: Chadron State College and MSU Denver.

The Griffins kicked it off with a win against Chadron State College Friday night with a final score of 83-72.

Senior Jai Jai Ely scored a career high of 32 points, leading the Griffins to a victory. Ely scored 19 points in the first half points, giving the team a four-point lead by halftime.

Senior Alec Monson and junior Brandon Warr were the second and third leading scorers with 22 and 18 points, respectively.

The team faced MSU Denver Saturday night, falling to the Roadrunners with a final score of 64-70.

Free throws helped the Griffins keep the score close, but the team was trailing by five points at halftime.

Graduate student Jake Connor scored a layup and free throw to put the Griffins in the lead with just under 14 minutes left in the second half. The lead went back and forth three more times, but Westminster eventualy became unable to overcome the score.

Monson, Warr and Joonas Tahvanainen led the Griffins in scoring. Monson finished with 17 points, Warr scored 16 points and Tahvanainen scored 14 points.

After the weekend, the men’s team holds a 4-5 RMAC record and 9-6 overall.

The Griffins return next weekend, hosting Regis and CCU on Jan. 17-18.

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Cami Mondeaux is a senior communication major with a minor in sociology. She’s worked in journalism for three years completing several internships in radio as well as a print internship stationed in Washington, D.C. Now, Cami works as a reporter and digital content producer for KSL NewsRadio covering breaking news and local government. When she doesn’t have her nose stuck in the headlines, Cami enjoys listening to podcasts, drinking iced coffee and continuing her quest to find the tastiest burrito in Salt Lake City.

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