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Basalt girls open with pair of victories

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Basalt High School girls basketball team opened its season with a pair of decisive victories.

On Friday, the Longhorns rallied back from a first half deficit to sting Paonia 48-33. And Saturday, Basalt summoned another huge third quarter effort in a 63-32 win over Paonia.

“I have four new starters this year,” said coach Debbie Cain, “and everyone was a little nervous for the first one – and Buena Vista is a good team. They have all their starters back from last year.”

Basalt started slowly, Cain said, trailing 21-17 at the half.

“But in the third quarter, we made a few adjustments and the girls came out and played really well,” she said.

Basalt scored 18 points in the third while completely shutting Buena Vista down offensively to take the lead.

“That was the difference in the game,” Cain said.

Forwards Stephanie Kemp and Lindsay Schiller led the team with 12 points each. Guards Heather Kappeli and Megan Macuen scored 10 and nine, respectively.

“I was real pleased with our scoring balance,” Cain said.

In Saturday’s game against Paonia, Basalt again started slowly. But another third quarter flurry by Basalt put the team up down the stretch.

“We had two slow starts on the road,” Cain said, “and it shows we need to learn how to get ready on the road. We need to mentally prepare because obviously we’re ready in the second half.”

Against Paonia, Heather Kappeli scored 20 points, Stephanie Kemp netted 18 and Molly McGrath knocked down 10.

Basalt, 19-3 last year and second to Aspen in the Class 3A Western Slope League, plays next on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Rifle.

Rifle, a larger Class 4A team that earned a No. 8 preseason ranking, “will be a test for our girls,” Cain said.


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