Basalt boys hoops struggle at the start |

Basalt boys hoops struggle at the start

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Basalt High School boys basketball team nearly knocked off the top-ranked Class 3A team in the state Friday in their season-opener, and then dropped a frustrating game the next day.

After trailing the entire game Friday, the Longhorns tied preseason No. 1 Buena Vista on a Pablo Calderon four-point play with three seconds remaining on the clock.

Calderon’s three-pointer and foul shot sent the game into overtime, which is when last season’s class 3A player of the year, Brian Wood of Buena Vista, took over. Wood scored 10 of Buena Vista’s 13 points in OT to lift his team to a 77-73 win over Basalt.

“We have a lot to work on and it showed,” first-year Basalt coach Paul Cain said. “But at one point, we were down 18 or 19 in the third quarter and it showed a lot of heart on the kids’ part to fight back like they did.”

“I give Buena Vista a lot of credit,” Cain continued. “They’re a good team and they never lost their composure.”

Basalt guard Ki Mulcahy led the team in scoring with 24 points. Forward Daniel Martinez scored 16, while guards Jack Lutzeier and Pablo Calderon added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

On Saturday, Basalt dropped its second game of the season 67-51 to Paonia, a team that narrowly beat Aspen Friday.

In the first half, Paonia shot better than 70 percent from the field, Cain said, which put Basalt in a hole.

“Paonia played an outstanding game,” the coach said, “and they dominated all aspects of the game. They cooled off in the second half – probably shooting about 50 percent – but they played very well.”

Against Paonia, Lutzeier scored 17 points and Mulcahy netted nine, Cain said.

The Basalt boys return to action Tuesday night against Rifle, a team that’s ranked in the top 10 of Class 4A schools, which is one tier larger than schools like Basalt and Aspen.

Tuesday’s tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Rifle.

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