CARBONDALE - The Basalt boys basketball team produced scores of open shots in Saturday's game with 4A Steamboat Springs. The Longhorns just couldn't get many of them to fall.
The result was a second consecutive lopsided loss in the Brenda Patch Tournament in Carbondale.
Basalt trailed the Sailors by just one after eight minutes but went cold in the second and third quarters, scoring just five points in 16 minutes. The Longhorns fell, 51-27, dropping their 27th straight game dating to February 2011.
"It was like there was a lid on the rim," first-year Basalt head coach Rolf Schildman said. "I'm really not too disappointed with how they played. They played a little better and competed a little harder than Friday, and we were getting good shots."
The Longhorns converted often in the first quarter and trailed 12-11 after eight minutes.
Then, the Sailors made the switch from a 1-3-1 zone to man-to-man defense. Basalt was caught off guard, Schildman said.
"Still, we were running our offense and guys were getting open looks. I didn't realize it, but all of sudden I looked up (at the scoreboard) and we hadn't scored in like eight minutes," he added. "We were executing - maybe they shot the ball early a few times. We just weren't getting those put-backs, junk buckets or easy buckets. After a while, they just started pulling away from us.
"We could've used some help, but we're still not scoring off our defense. We were holding them - they weren't running away from us - but we're just not clicking in the full court with the press. We still don't have five guys working together."
Javier Huerta finished with 12 points for the Longhorns, who also were overmatched in Friday's 77-43 loss to Eagle Valley. They'll look to rebound Dec. 14 against Vail Mountain School.
"I know these guys can shoot. I've seen it in practice. Tonight, nothing was falling," Schildman said. "We definitely got better, though, and I'm happy with the progress they're making. We took our lumps this weekend, but hopefully it will pay off during league play."
While his team struggled mightily in Friday's season opener against Norwood, the state runner-up in 1A last winter, Aspen girls basketball coach Jeremy Haack said his team improved as the game progressed.
It showed Saturday, when the Skiers overwhelmed Lake County. Three players scored seven or more points for Aspen, which dominated on defense en route to a 41-21 victory over the Panthers in Vail.
Anna Stevens scored 12 points, and Sadie Alpern and Mary Landis each pitched in with seven for the Skiers, who outscored Lake County 12-4 in the second quarter to seize control.
"We really mixed things up defensively and created some offense that way," Haack said.
Aspen led, 33-15, after three quarters and were never tested down the stretch.
"It's early in the season and there are a lot of new faces, but we're coming together more with each practice and game," said Haack, whose squad next plays Dec. 11 against Grand Valley. "It's a process, and we'll continue to get better."