Preps: Basalt football to host TCA in first round, volleyball teams head to regionals

Basalt High School football senior quarterback Noah Johnston throws against Aspen on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, on the BHS field.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

With a pair of easy wins to finish out the regular season, the Basalt High School football team did just enough to secure a spot as the final first-round host when the Class 2A tournament gets underway this weekend.

The Longhorns, seeded No. 8 in the 16-team bracket, will play No. 9 The Classical Academy at 2 p.m. Saturday on the BHS field. Both teams enter the opening-round matchup with a 7-2 overall record.

The winner will advance to play either No. 1 Delta or No. 16 Alamosa in the second round. Those two will play each other at 1 p.m. Saturday in Delta.

Basalt enters the postseason winners of two straight, rolling over Coal Ridge (42-8) and Aspen (62-20) in recent weeks. This followed a two-game skid in which BHS lost to Rifle (55-27) and Moffat County (29-6). The Longhorns started the fall 5-0 before those losses.

TCA enters Saturday’s game on a current two-game skid, losing in back-to-back weeks to powerful Kent Denver (36-14) and Elizabeth (35-7) teams.

Basalt and TCA last played in 2019, also in the 2A first round. That season, No. 9 BHS went to Colorado Springs and beat No. 8 TCA, 13-7.

The remainder of this year’s first-round matchups include No. 4 Berthoud vs. No. 13 Wellington; No. 5 Elizabeth vs. No. 12 Moffat County; No. 2 Kent Denver vs. No. 15 Eaton; No. 7 La Junta vs. No. 10 Pagosa Springs; No. 6 University vs. No. 11 Florence; and No. 3 Rifle vs. No. 14 Brush.

Aspen finished the season 3-6 overall and did not make the playoffs.

Volleyball teams head to regionals

Class 3A regional play is set to get underway this weekend across the state. This includes both Aspen and Basalt, two of the 36 volleyball teams to qualify for one of the 12 three-team regional pods.

The Skiers (13-9 overall) will play in Region 2 as the No. 23 overall seed. Their pod includes No. 2 Jefferson Academy, the region host, and No. 35 Wellington. Only one team advances to the 12-team state tournament.

Saturday’s schedule has Jefferson Academy and Wellington playing at noon, while Aspen will play Wellington in the second game, and Aspen vs. Jefferson Academy will play in the third and final match.

Basalt, playing out of Region 8, is the No. 29 overall seed and will play in a region hosted by No. 8 Alamosa, along with No. 17 University. The Longhorns (11-12 overall) will play Alamosa in the first game of the region at 10 a.m. Saturday. Basalt and University will follow, with Alamosa and University playing in the third game.

Cross country season comes to an end

Both Aspen and Basalt traveled to Colorado Springs last Saturday for the Class 3A state championships, held at the Norris Penrose Event Center. As a team, the AHS girls finished 12th and the BHS girls 19th out of 20 scoring squads. The Classical Academy won the 3A girls title.

Individually, the top local finisher was Basalt’s Isabella Moon, who was 47th overall in 20 minutes, 50.2 seconds. Aspen’s Julia Diaz wasn’t far behind in 55th place (20:58.1), while her teammate Avila Jennings was 58th in 21:09.8.

Liberty Common’s Isabel Allori was the individual 3A girls champion (17:32.4).

Neither Basalt nor Aspen had enough qualifiers to post a team score on the boys side, also won by TCA in a sweep of the genders.

Individually, TCA’s Matthew Edwards won the 3A boys title in 15:20.7. Basalt’s Owen Lambert had a strong race, finishing 29th in 17:08.5 to lead the local runners. Basalt’s Towler Scott was 40th (17:23.1) and Aspen’s Jack Diaz was 102nd (18:38.3).