Basalt basketball takes on University Friday with familiar foe in view | AspenTimes.com

Basalt basketball takes on University Friday with familiar foe in view

Basalt High School boys basketball coach Danny Martinez watches from the sideline as the Longhorns play Aspen earlier this season.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

Considering the Basalt High School boys basketball team only played at home six times in 22 games this season, going on the road for Friday’s regional round of the Class 3A state tournament shouldn’t be an issue.

“I am pretty happy with this draw. I wish we would play at home, but the road has been our home this year,” Basalt coach Danny Martinez said. “It’s just another welcome home for us, I think. It doesn’t matter where you play. You just got to go out and execute.”

The Longhorns (19-3) are the tournament’s No. 9 overall seed, with the top eight getting to host a regional pod. They will face No. 24 seed University (13-9) Friday at 5:30 p.m. in a game hosted by Denver School of Science and Technology: Green Valley Ranch.

DSST:GVR, the No. 8 seed with an 18-4 record, will play No. 25 Pinnacle (14-8) at 7 p.m. Friday, with the winners of the two games meeting in the regional championship game Saturday at 1 p.m.

The winner of Saturday’s game earns a spot in the “Great 8” the following week, with all three rounds being played inside the University of Denver’s Hamilton Gym.

“I of course wish we were at home; we missed it by one seed. But if we could choose anywhere to go and play it would probably be Denver,” BHS senior Miles Levy said. “Postseason is pretty much a brand new regular season; everybody is starting 0-0. We’ve never played University, so it’s going to be a challenge for us.”

University, based in Greeley, is having its best season since winning 17 games in the 2012-13 season. The Bulldogs are led by senior sharpshooter Izak Natividad, who averages 18.1 points per game. According to Martinez, University is a team that likes to take a lot of 3-point shots.

Basalt is in the midst of its best season since Martinez, a 2001 BHS graduate, was a player. Led by senior Michael Glen’s 22 points per game, the Longhorns are in the regional tournament for the second straight year. Prior to 2016, Basalt hadn’t made the state tournament since being a No. 29 seed in 2012-13, when it lost 55-18 to No. 4 Brush in the round of 32.

Last season, Basalt lost as a No. 17 seed to No. 16 seed Pagosa Springs, 54-52, in the first round. They finished the year 17-6 overall.

“We’ve definitely come a long way from last year. I think everybody who participated in that game has a chip on their shoulder thinking we should have won that one,” Levy said. “It would just mean the world to me if we could get to the eight and see what we can do from there.”

After University, the team likely standing in Basalt’s way from a second weekend in Denver is regional host DSST:GVR. The Raptors hosted Basalt on Feb. 1, with BHS winning 62-47.

That game was an in-season addition to the schedule after BHS needed a 19th game to fill out its schedule. The teams could possibly meet again Saturday, only with a lot more on the line.

“The biggest thing with them is you have to take care of the ball, because they are going to pressure you all game long,” Martinez said. “We’ve played in that gym before, so it’s good. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I think we can go out and do it and it will be nice to play these guys again.”

For the complete 3A bracket, visit chsaanow.com.

acolbert@aspentimes.com


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