The late-season blues shake Basalt girls team once again
A last-second bucket in Friday’s Class 3A Regional Tournament shattered the Basalt High School girls basketball team’s hopes of advancing to the state tournament.
The 44-43 loss to Centauri High School marked the third straight year that the Longhorn girls have battled into the regional playoffs, only to miss the cut for the eight-team Class 3A State Tournament.
This year, however, it seemed things would be different for the Longhorns, a team that entered the game riding a 15-game winning streak.
Basalt – the Class 3A Western Slope League champs, Class 3A District Tournament champs and No. 3 seed in the regional tourney – got out in front of No. 13-seeded Centauri from the start. A series of startling 3-pointers in the second quarter by junior Molly McGrath and senior Megan Macuen gave the Longhorns a 26-17 lead at the half.
Basalt managed to hang on to the lead in the third quarter, though Centauri cut the deficit to six, trailing 36-30 entering the final quarter.
The fourth quarter marked a turnaround for Centauri, even as Basalt slowed the game down with its defense and managed to drain more than two minutes off the clock. But with three minutes left to play, the game was tied at 42.
Basalt’s last score of the night was a foul shot by senior Heather Kappelli. The Longhorn’s slight lead, however, was short-lived as Centauri’s Breean Richardson hit a 2-pointer with less than 10 seconds to play. The game’s final score marked the first time Centauri had been able to wrestle the lead away from Basalt since early in the second quarter.
“She just made the biggest shot of her life,” Centauri coach Dave Forster said. “I think we felt all along that we could win.”
Basalt’s high scorers for the game included McGrath with 12 points, Macuen with 10, Stephanie Kemp with 9 and Kappelli with 8.
Next weekend’s state championship tournament in Colorado Springs won’t feature any local teams, as the Roaring Fork girls were knocked out of contention in a 50-29 loss to Pagosa Springs on Saturday.
Basalt finished the season 22-2 overall.
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Posted: Monday, March 5, 2001
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