Basketball: Basalt girls, boys open season Saturday | AspenTimes.com

Basketball: Basalt girls, boys open season Saturday

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

BASALT — The Basalt Longhorns can't wait.

Good thing, because their wait is over.

The Basalt High School girls and boys basketball teams will open the season Saturday when Delta visits the Big House at BHS.

The opening is a week later than most prep teams, leaving the Longhorns more than eager to get started.

"We've been practicing the last few weeks; we're excited and ready to go," Basalt head boys coach Danny Martinez said. "We've worked hard and we're excited to play."

His Basalt boys roster includes a strong core of players from last season, including returning all-conference selection Mike Glen, a 6-6 senior.

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Junior Wade Soho, 6-3, also is back for the new season.

As well, Pedro Rivera and brother Pablo Rivera return from last year's Basalt varsity. They are both juniors.

"They are all guys who played last year," Martinez said. "And Raul Torres, he's stepped right in."

He said Glen had a strong summer of basketball.

"Wade (Soho) played a ton," Martinez said. "His game's gotten better. He's worked hard."

The Basalt boys will take on Delta at 4 p.m. Saturday right after the girls varsity game, which is set for 2:30 p.m.

Martinez said the Longhorns will base their game on solid defense again this season.

"I think our defense will be the … key to our success," he said. "Good offense starts with good defense."

He said the team has experience and leadership, with Kyle Roberts back. And, he said, Miles Levy is bringing his enthusiasm and leadership feom an all-conference football season into the basketball season.

"He's a great team player," Martinez said.

First up, he said, is a genuine game against Delta, a strong opponent for the season opener.

"The boys are really excited. They're ready to play," Martinez said.

Likewise the Basalt girls are more than ready for their first official game.

Head coach Josh Mink, who doubles as Basalt's athletic director, said the Longhorns are ready to play.

The Basalt girls also return a nucleus of players from last year's squad that had only three seniors.

Three more seniors this year, Mink said, and a total of seven sophomores on the Basalt varsity.

"We're young; we have one junior," Mink said.

And that junior is returning all-conference player Carsyn Knotts, the Longhorns' leading scorer from a year ago.

She's coming off a busy summer of basketball, including a trip to Europe for games on boys teams — games with the Aspen Basketball Academy teams and coach Steve Ketchum.

"She really went off over there," Mink said of Knott's summer play.

He said senior Kaity Johnson will be another leader for the Longhorns.

"We're expecting great things from her," Mink said. "And I'm really looking for Kate Shrock, a sophomore, to have a breakout season."

He said the Basalt girls will return to their familiar zone defense — a matchup zone.

Their defense started solid in the preseason scrimmages, including games over Thanksgiving weekend in Glenwood Springs.

He said seniors Savanah Cheatham and Rubi Araiza also will be counted on by the Longhorns this season.

"They really keep the younger players focused," said Mink.

The Basalt girls are set to take the court at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Big House.

dstrode@aspentimes.com

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