Basalt basketball opens new season today |

Basalt basketball opens new season today

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

The Basalt Longhorns will open the high school basketball season tonight at the annual Brenda Patch Memorial Tournament in Carbondale.

The Longhorns will feature new leadership in the boys program in the form of a familiar face.

Danny Martinez, a former standout player for the Longhorns, returns to take over the reins of the BHS boys program.

Tiffany Robison, another familiar face, returns to lead the Basalt girls program in her second season as head coach.

“I’m really excited, and the players are very excited,” Martinez said on the eve of the Basalt boys opener against Eagle Valley at 4:30 p.m. today at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale. The Basalt girls will take on the Eagle Valley girls in the first game at 3 p.m. today in Carbondale.

“The players are working hard,” Martinez said, adding that the team is enthusiastic with a thirst for basketball knowledge.

He said he and his coaching staff are focusing on fundamentals as they try to lead the Basalt boys back into the Class 3A state playoffs.

Martinez said the Longhorns will be a bit shorthanded tonight when they take on Eagle Valley with only eight varsity players available. He said he should have a full roster next week, including a strong senior class.

“I’ll have to use my timeouts wisely,” Martinez said of tonight’s short roster.

Martinez, a 2001 Basalt High School graduate, coached the middle school teams in Basalt last year.

Previously, he served as a junior varsity coach in Basalt for six seasons.

As a player, Martinez closed his Basalt career playing for the legendary Paul Cain, a former BHS all-stater who went on to an All-American career at Mesa State College in Grand Junction (now Colorado Mesa University).

Cain, considered by many to be the best player ever to come out of Basalt, was an NCAA Division II All-American for the Mavericks, setting several school and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference records that still stand.

Martinez said he was happy to channel his passion for basketball into the BHS boys program.

He’s a community safety officer with the Basalt Police Department, which puts him on campus every day.

“It puts me right there in the school,” the new BHS head coach said.

He said the team will be led by senior point guard Kris Krueger and inside returner Nick Calabro.

“He’s 6-3 … a big kid,” Martinez said.

Ivan Loya, another senior, is back in the backcourt for the Longhorns this season.

The all-conference soccer player was on the wrestling team last season before returning to the basketball court this year.

The Brenda Patch schedule today also calls for a Steamboat Springs-Roaring Fork doubleheader, starting with the girls at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the Basalt girls will take on Steamboat at 3 p.m. The Basalt boys will play the Sailors at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Roaring Fork will take on Eagle Valley at 6 p.m. (girls) and 7:30 p.m. (boys) on Saturday.

The Basalt boys will continue their pre-Christmas schedule at the Palisade Invite on Dec. 19 with a game against Cheyenne South, from Cheyenne, Wyo.

The Longhorns will open the Class 3A Western Slope League on Dec. 21 at Grand Valley.

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