Basalt girls rebound for two wins in Steamboat | AspenTimes.com

Basalt girls rebound for two wins in Steamboat

Jon MaletzAspen, CO Colorado

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. The Longhorns combated much more than opposing defenses during last weekend’s Steamboat Springs Invitational. Basalt’s girls basketball team overcame an injury to star guard Kat Fitzpatrick and a loss to 4A Montrose, posting two victories to finish third in the four-team, three-day tournament.Fitzpatrick was hustling for a loose ball during Basalt’s opening-game win over 4A Falcon and hurtled head-first into the bleachers, sustaining a gash to her forehead.Coincidentally, she saw some familiar faces in the emergency room; a Basalt boys player fractured his arm and a father in the crowd was checked out after experiencing appendix pain.”We kept the Steamboat hospital busy,” Basalt girls coach Carolyn Compton joked Tuesday. Fitzpatrick departed after being injured early in the second quarter Thursday, but the Longhorns pulled out a physical 53-45 victory over Falcon. The senior, with skin adhesive covering the wound on the middle of her forehead, returned to the court Friday for the Longhorns’ game against Montrose. It was clear early on, however, that Fitzpatrick was not herself, Compton said.”She was injured, and I think we fed off her in the wrong way in terms of energy,” Compton said. “She probably shouldn’t have played as much as she did. She wasn’t quite all there.” Basalt’s sluggish play was compounded by a strong shooting performance and strong rebounding from the Indians. The Longhorns (4-1) couldn’t find an answer on defense and dropped their first game of the season, 56-41.”We fought pretty well, but you can’t take anything away from Montrose. They shot the lights out,” Compton said. “What they didn’t make, they beat us to the boards and took us out of the game … We weren’t clicking. When you can’t find continuity, it doesn’t matter what defense you play.”Basalt rebounded in Saturday’s third-place game. They flustered Green River (Wyo.) with full-court pressure, and pulled away for a 54-40 win. The wide margin allowed Compton to give young players valuable on-court experience. The team’s catalyst, per usual, was Fitzpatrick.”She’s still got a big welt on her head, but she’s non-stop,” Compton said. “She’s out there dazed and dizzy, but she’s still non-stop … She handled it well. She’s as tough as nails.”While they were disappointed they didn’t factor in the tournament championship, Compton said the Longhorns took comfort in Saturday’s victory, which she hopes will give the team momentum as they begin 3A Western Slope play. Compton is confident that, if her team is healthy (in addition to Fitzpatrick’s injury, junior Heather Nemiec is battling back problems), the Longhorns should contend for a conference crown. In 2006, Basalt was 12-2 in the Slope, second only to unbeaten Cedaredge, en route to a run to the state championship game.Basalt opens league play Tuesday in Carbondale against Roaring Fork.”I really believe we can present matchup issues if we’re taking care of the little things and executing,” Compton said. “I know without a doubt that Roaring Fork will come in and be scrappy. They’ll definitely put up a big fight. Anyone we play is going to put up a fight – it’s always a different state of mind when you play us, and we have to be ready for that.”jmaletz@aspentimes.com