Basalt boys, girls hoops teams fall to Rifle |

Basalt boys, girls hoops teams fall to Rifle

Baron Zahuranec
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” The Rifle boys and girls basketball teams beat the Basalt Longhorns at the Brenda Patch Basketball Tournament on Friday evening at Roaring Fork High School.

The girls won 63-48 in the early game, and the boys won 62-56 in the late game. Quick hands and solid defense got the boys team through a tight game, but the Bears did give up a lot of offensive rebounds.

“I liked what I saw from my guys tonight,” Bears head coach Chris Lowther said after the game. “Our D was pretty solid, except for our defensive rebounding. We need to make sure we box out properly. I think that was our number one problem.”

Rifle held a one-point lead after the first quarter, and had a 26-22 lead at halftime. The Longhorns fought to within one point at 41-40 at the end of the third, but couldn’t keep up with the Bears.

“We’re right there and we’re going to make some noise,” Longhorns head coach Jon Pettit said. “I think our best play was at the defensive end with our intensity. They played hard out there, and that’s all you can really ask.”

Basalt had some problems with empty possessions resulting in turnovers and weren’t hustling to loose balls.

“The ball was on the floor a lot and we weren’t diving,” Longhorns center Scott Trantow said. “I think we had some real good intensity in the second half, and we just want that to transfer over into tomorrow [versus Steamboat Springs].”

Tyler Rust led the Bears with 25 points, and Jacob Massey and Eric Laudick each chipped in 11.

“We played good tonight, but we could’ve had more hustle,” Rust said. “We need to play more fluently, we were kind of streaky.”

Omar Lopez paced the Longhorns with 22 points and David Gruenefeldt had 18.

“I think it came down to use not playing good defense,” Gruenefeldt said. “We gave up a lot of open 3s.”

Saturday, the Bears take on Roaring Fork with the girls starting at 4 p.m. followed by the boys, and the Longhorns face Steamboat Springs with the girls starting at 1 p.m.

In the early game, the Bears had the upper hand from the tip. They broke out to a 11-2 lead and never looked back.

“That fast start helped a lot,” Bears head coach Stephanie Heald said. “That was our whole focus. We wanted to get the intensity up and play the game at our speed.”

The Bears had a 23-8 lead after one, and were up by 13 going into the break.

“As a team we were running a lot,” Bears point guard Makayla Wilkins said. “I’d say we looked like a running team.”

Cortney Cordova and Sandy Samson paced the Bears with 14 points each. Cordova wasn’t pleased with the team’s performance in the second half, though.

“We started the game running, but in the second we weren’t doing that as much,” she said. “It seemed like we weren’t running as hard.”

Heald thought the same, but liked the progress she saw since the team’s loss on Tuesday against Grand Junction Central.

“We picked it up from and got good sound passes and were in the defensive passing lanes,” Heald said. “We just need to have good passes, ball fakes and good shots.”

Going into the game, Longhorns head coach Carolyn Compton knew her team would be in for a tough game.

“I told the girls that Rifle could jump out there quick,” she said. “In the third quarter we put ourselves back in it, but we didn’t take care of the ball like we needed to. This is a young group of girls and I think we’ll be in a different frame of mind tomorrow.”

Point guard, Melissa Stewart led the Longhorns with 15 points, nine of which came on 3s.

“Yeah, coming back is always hard,” the lone senior on the team said. “This was our first time playing without our seniors from last year, and it showed us what we need to get ready. We need to think more and listen to what our coaches are telling us.”

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