BASALT - Basalt girls basketball coach Tiffany Robison said her squad has learned a lot since the season-opening Brenda Patch Tournament in Carbondale.
Still, the Longhorns can't quite figure out how to play a full game. Foul trouble cost Basalt early in Friday's matchup against visiting Hotchkiss, but it rebounded with a strong third quarter to whittle a double-digit deficit to just three. The Bulldogs responded down the stretch, however, exploiting their size advantage to steadily pull away for a 55-34 victory.
The Longhorns now are 0-3.
"We've got to play four quarters," Robison said. "We've got to come out strong and just stay with it."
The Longhorns committed 10 fouls in an opening quarter in which they were outscored 13-3 and were forced to rotate their lineup. The deficit could've been worse; Hotchkiss missed nine of 16 free-throw attempts in the first eight minutes.
Basalt could muster just one field goal - a 3 from the wing from senior Carina Capobianco - in the second quarter. It trailed 23-11 at the break.
Capobianco spearheaded a spirited Longhorns rally early in the second half. She opened with a mid-range jumper, then converted twice from long range. On the latter, Emmalee Erickson dribbled through the lane, drew a host of defenders and fired a perfect pass to a wide-open Capobianco in the corner. Capobianco finished with 12 points.
Basalt converted eight of 11 from the line in a third quarter in which it outscored the Bulldogs, 18-9. It trailed, 32-29, heading to the fourth.
"That third quarter was probably the best we've played (this year)," Robison said.
The fourth was a much different story. Kylie Hodges and Katie Richards went to work down low, scoring at will to spark a 15-2 Hotchkiss run. The Longhorns could not keep pace, scoring just five points in the final eight minutes - all from the foul line.
Basalt will look to rebound at 5:30 p.m. Friday, when it visits upvalley rival Aspen.
"Stopping big girls down low is something to work on in practice," Robison said. "We're staying positive and staying with the teamwork. We're still learning about each other, but we're getting there."