Alcorta returns to sidelines at Basalt High school gym |

Alcorta returns to sidelines at Basalt High school gym

Basalt's Keelie Roberts protects the basketball during Thursday night's game against Aspen. Roberts, a senior, had a game-high 10 rebounds on Senior night at Basalt High School.
Jim Ryan / Special to The Aspen Times |

Coach Debbie Alcorta struck a familiar pose along the sidelines of the Basalt High School gym.

Standing, pointing, exhorting and encouraging her team with the familiar crowd-piercing voice, Alcorta — on this Thursday night — coached the Aspen High School girls team in the same gymnasium where she had led a Longhorn championship dynasty for nearly a decade.

The Western Slope League game Thursday marked her return to Basalt for her first game after taking over the Aspen girls program this year.

“It felt great to be back,” Alcorta said after the Basalt girls scored a 38-17 win over the Skiers. “It was a little weird to be on the visitors bench, but it was good.”

She said both teams played with great energy in the rivalry game that the Longhorns locked up with a turnover-producing press — particularly in the second quarter when they held the Skiers to just two points.

“Got to hand it to Basalt. They were the better team tonight,” Alcorta said.

Junior Kaity Johnson and sophomore Carsyn Knotts led the Basalt girls, who built on a 17-8 halftime lead.

Johnson scored 12 points and collected five rebounds.

Knotts scored 11 points and had nine rebounds. Basalt teammate Keelie Roberts, a senior honored on Senior Night, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds as the Longhorns improved to 2-16 overall, 2-11 in the Western Slope League.

“We need to regroup, refocus,” Alcorta said of the Aspen girls, 1-17 overall, 1-12 in conference. “It’s all part of building a program. We need summer basketball.”

Jess Coxon, a senior, led the Skiers with five points in the Thursday night game. She also had nine rebounds, as did teammate Marissa Buchholz.

McKenna Woodrow scored four points, and Buchholz added three for the Skiers.

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