Longhorns rip Paonia 72-38 to stay alive
The Basalt High School boys basketball team found itself in unfamiliar territory Tuesday night.
The Longhorns hosted Paonia in a pigtail game hoping to keep their season alive.
In the two previous years, Basalt was the top team in the Western Slope Conference, winning the league title and the 3A District crown, as well.
But after dropping three league games this year, the Longhorns, who began the season ranked third in the the Colorado 3A prep polls, found themselves in unfamiliar territory – in the middle of the WSC standings at season’s end.
Basalt finished the regular season as the fifth seed of the 12-team WSC division. Since only the top four teams advance to the first round of the 3A District Tournament that begins Thursday, the bottom eight teams were forced to play each other with the four winners advancing to complete the eight-team bracket at districts on Thursday.
Tuesday, Basalt edged closer to a possible third straight District title with a 72-38 spanking of the 12th-seeded Eagles.
BHS senior Sean Koutsakis led all scorers with 21 points.
Fellow seniors Rodney Crawford and Forrest Woolery added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
With the win, the Longhorns advance to play valley rival Roaring Fork at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale tomorrow. Game time is set for 8 p.m.
The Rams, the No. 4 seed out of the WSC, defeated Basalt earlier this month at the Big House.
Tuesday, Basalt jumped out to a 13-7 first-quarter lead behind six points from Woolery.
The Longhorns then erupted in the second period, scoring 22 points en route to a 35-19 halftime lead. Koutsakis scored seven of his game-high 21 in the period. Crawford also added seven.
Basalt took a 54-25 lead at the end of the third period to put the game away.
Paonia, which entered the WSC this season, finished the season 0-12 in league play and 0-16 overall.
For complete standings and tournament schedule, see 17-A.
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