Longhorns host annual Clay Belk tourney
Basalt High School basketball tipped off the 1999-2000 season last weekend at the Big House in Basalt with the boys and girls teams playing host to Buena Vista.
And though the results were mixed, both teams served notice that they will be forces to reckon with on the state basketball scene this winter. The girls team routed the visiting Demons 53-28, and the boys team, despite a great comeback performance, lost in overtime 95-89.
For the boys team and coach Bill Crowley, Buena Vista represented a formidable challenge in the season opener. The Demons won the state Class 3A championship last year, amassing a perfect 26-0 record along the way.
But if the Longhorns were at all intimidated by the defending champs, it certainly didn’t show. Basalt raced out to a 22-16 lead after one quarter behind seven points from Michael Palmer and five from Edwin Piper.
Buena Vista fought back to take a two-point lead at halftime, 45-43, before putting the offense into high gear and outscoring Basalt 24-14 in the third period to take a commanding 69-57 lead.
Down 12, the Longhorns tightened up their defense, allowing Buena Vista only 12 points in the final frame, and pulled back into an 81-81 tie with the Demons as regulation time expired, sending the game into overtime.
Down the stretch, however, Buena Vista’s experience paid off, and the Demons came away with a hard-fought 95-89 win.
“In the preseason, you never know what to expect,” said Crowley. “Considering it was the first game of the season for us, I think we played well.”
Palmer led five Longhorns in double figures with 29 points. Brian Hunter added 17.
Saturday, Basalt hit the road for a somewhat easier contest, taking on the Clear Creek Golddiggers in Idaho Springs. Rebounding well from their loss of the night before, the Longhorns came up with a solid defensive effort and toppled their hosts 65-31.
“It was ugly, but it was a win,” said Crowley. Basalt girls roll to 2-0 For the Basalt girls team of coach Debbie Cain, Friday’s contest against Buena Vista would be an easier undertaking.
With all five starters scoring in the first quarter, Basalt raced to an early 13-4 lead.
The Demons outscored Basalt 10-9 in the second period to trim the halftime deficit to eight, but then Kelli Corrigan and Ingrid Brucker exploded for 8 and 6 third-quarter points, respectively, to push Basalt’s lead to 42-20 after three periods and ice the game for the Longhorns.
For the game, Corrigan paced the Basalt attack with 18 points. Brucker contributed 10 points and Ambere Cunningham scored eight in the 53-28 triumph.
“I think we played very well,” said Cain. “We came out aggressive, which is what we wanted to do. There were some things we needed to do better, but for the most part I was pleased with how they played.”
The Longhorns also made the trip to Idaho Springs on Saturday to square off against Clear Creek in a tough affair that Basalt won 42-29, though the game was closer than the score indicated.
“It was pretty ugly,” said Cain. “It was close the entire way and they had to start fouling. It was a good learning experience for us. It’s always hard playing on the road.” Clay Belk Memorial Tournament Next up for both Longhorns teams will be the Clay Belk Memorial Tournament this coming weekend at the Big House at Basalt High School. Games will be played on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10-11.
The tournament will kick off with the Aspen girls, 2-0 this season after big wins in the Skierdome Classic, facing Kent Denver at 4 p.m. Friday. The Aspen boys, also 2-0, will then play a 5:30 p.m. game against Ridgway.
The Basalt girls will take to their home court at 7 p.m. Friday for a contest against Ridgway, and then the Basalt boys will play against Kent Denver at 8:30 p.m. in Friday’s nightcap.
Saturday’s action will start off with the girls consolation game at 1 p.m., followed by the boys consolation game at 2:30 p.m. The girls championship is slated for 4 p.m. Saturday, and then the tournament will wrap up with the boys championship at 5:30 p.m.
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