Cain honored as WSC Coach of the Year |

Cain honored as WSC Coach of the Year

Ben Husband

At the beginning of her second year of coaching, coach Debbie Cain was at the bottom of the coaching world.

Six games into the season, the Basalt High School girls’ basketball team was 1-5 at the bottom of the Western Slope Conference standings.

But Cain remained optimistic.

“As long as we keep improving each game, then we’ll be OK,” Cain told her team.

Cain stuck by her motivational speech and soon her players began to improve and by season’s end, the Longhorns were the second best team in the WSC with a 10-1 record.

Cain turned what seemed to be the beginning of a long season into a year in which the Longhorns lost just one league game.

The Longhorns continued their winning streak and domination by finishing second in the Class 3A District Tournament and qualified for Regionals.

Monday, Cain was honored for her coaching mastery as she was named Western Slope Conference’s Coach of the Year.

“I was surprised,” Cain said. She thought Rangely’s Kurt Douglas was the obvious choice.

“Anytime you go undefeated in our league, that says a lot about the coach,” she said. “This is a tough league.”

Cain, who starred as a lighting-quick guard at Mesa State College in Grand Junction during the early 1990s, added that “it’s a nice award to get,” and said she’ll share the award with her team.

“I’m going to share this with the girls,” she said. “They are the ones that got the job done on the court – I couldn’t have received this without them.

“I don’t think that our success was anything that I did,” she continued. “So I attribute this award to the girls because they believed in me.”

Cain said winning the award was a nice accolade to end the season, but there are higher honors out there she would trade it for, namely the state tournament.

“Going to the state tournament I think is more of an honor,” she said. “This is nice, but going to the state tournament and watching the coaches down there has inspired me to become a better coach.”

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