Basalt begins second season
BASALT Bad seed, bad bracket, but no bad attitude.Basalt coach John McDermott wasn’t grumbling Monday after a question about his team’s seeding in the16-team 3A state soccer tournament, nor the likelihood of an unenviable second-round matchup with No. 2 Kent Denver. For winning its sixth 3A Western Slope title in seven years, Basalt earned a No. 7 seed and a tough first-round home game at 3 p.m. Wednesday against 2006 state quarterfinalist Peak to Peak.Should Basalt beat the Pumas (8-5-2) – the fourth-best team out of the rugged 3A Metro – its reward will be a date with the class of the Metro, the 13-1-1 Sun Devils.”A little unfair, I thought, but it never works out how you want it to,” McDermott said. “If we get past Peak to Peak, we’ve got Kent Denver. We’ve got to play them at some point, anyway, so there’s no reason to complain about it.”Kent Denver routed Basalt, 4-0, in the opener for both teams Aug. 31 in Denver, although McDermott’s starting lineup for that game is much different than the 11 players he will start Wednesday.He was without as many as six starters during games early in the season because of injury or ineligibility. Also in Basalt’s bracket is a final four team from last season, No. 6 Denver Christian (11-2-2), and No. 3 Colorado Academy (11-2-2).Denver Christian – which ended Aspen’s state run in the semifinals last year – drubbed Basalt, 6-0, on Sept. 1. Colorado Academy is the team that knocked Basalt out in the quarterfinals last year.”Nothing’s easy,” McDermott said. “We’ve only gotten stronger since we played those first two games. You’ve just got to get kids ready for the game Wednesday and make sure they know they can’t take anything for granted. We’ve got all the top teams in our bracket, so just bring them on.”McDermott did say hosting a home game should help. Peak to Peak has a four-hour-plus drive from Lafayette before Wednesday’s game, and will also have to adjust to playing at a higher elevation.McDermott promised that his team isn’t looking ahead.”Peak to Peak is a private academy and they recruit from everywhere,” he said. “They’re a good team. They actually drew with Boulder, which is a 5A team. I’ve just been telling the boys they need to be ready for this game. You’ve got to go out scared and nervous. You don’t play big games and just think you’re going to walk over them. … I want them to be nervous, humble, and know they’re in the game of their lives, but also to know they have the ability to win.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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