For Basalt girls, `D’ is for defense, dominance |

For Basalt girls, `D’ is for defense, dominance

Jennifer Davoren

The Basalt High School girls basketball team brought home another title this weekend – the district championship of the Class 3A Western Slope League.

The Longhorn girls, also the regular-season 3A Western Slope League champs, boosted their winning streak to 15 with a hard-fought 43-36 win over Roaring Fork Saturday.

Fresh off a first-round 49-34 tournament win over Cedaredge Thursday night, Basalt faced No. 4 Gunnison Friday at Palisade High School in Grand Junction. Defensively, Basalt had a great first half in the 37-24 win, coach Debbie Cain said.

“At the end of the first half, the score was 21-7. We just had a great defense,” she said. “In the second half, Gunnison came out and picked up their offensive efforts, but I think we held off their little run at the end.”

Basalt junior Molly McGrath scored a game-high 15 points, followed by senior Heather Kapelli with 9 and junior Stephanie Kemp with 8.

Saturday’s district tournament title game against Roaring Fork was one of the hardest of the season for Basalt, Cain said.

Roaring Fork, crippled by suspensions earlier this month due to school disciplinary actions, suited up only seven girls. Basalt’s 43-36 win was a difficult one as the remaining Rams put up the fight of their lives, Cain said.

“Roaring Fork has been playing with a lot of emotion. They had something to prove,” she said. “I give them a lot of credit. That’s one of the best games we’ve had all year. At one point, it was only a three-point game.”

Mariah Mulcahy led the Longhorns with 11 points, nine coming from the free-throw line, while Kemp added 10 points. Kappelli and McGrath were also big contributors, netting 7 and 6 points, respectively.

The focus is now on the regional tournament as play dates are determined this week.

“The girls are really excited,” Cain said. “The last two years we’ve been in the championship, there’s been a lot of emotional times.

“I’m very pleased with them.”

Basalt’s tournament sweep has earned it a home game this weekend against the Intermountain League’s Centauri High School. Cain said a coaches meeting today will determine the time and date of the game.

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Posted: Monday, February 26, 2001

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