Basalt boys have ‘turned corner’ |

Basalt boys have ‘turned corner’

Tim Mutrie

With two games to play in the regular season, the Basalt High boys basketball team strengthened its grip on the No. 2 position in the Class 3A Western Slope League standings with a come-from-behind win over Olathe 63-46 at the BHS gym Friday night.Basalt, 9-8 overall and 7-3 in the 3A WSL, fell into a 20-10 hole after the first quarter when Olathe (4-12, 2-8) was “hitting everything under the sun,” according to BHS coach Michael Green.Led by senior guard Cody Burkholder with 21 points, Basalt ended up having a pretty stellar shooting night of its own at 55 percent from the field. Junior guard Ben Pollock scored 18 points and senior center Darren Duroux had a double-double with 13 points.”We started a little slow,” said Green. “But we turned it around in the second quarter and that turned the tide. Then, we shot the ball extremely well in the second half; things were clicking.”The Roaring Fork boys clinched the 3A WSL championship the same night with a win at Aspen.Roaring Fork sits atop the standings at 15-3 overall and 11-0 in league. Basalt is No. 2 at 7-3 in league, followed by Gunnison (9-8, 6-4), Cedaredge (10-7, 5-5), Aspen (4-13, 3-7), Olathe and, finally, Hotchkiss (3-12, 1-8).For the Longhorn boys, the season already represents a marked turnaround from recent years of struggle.”In the past we’ve been one of those teams that’s lost a lot of the close games. This year, we’re winning them. I think we’ve turned the corner. The kids are working hard and getting everybody involved, and that’s what we need to do,” said Green.Basalt hosts Cedaredge on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Longhorns’ regular-season home finale. On Saturday, Basalt travels to face cellar-dweller Hotchkiss.And only Roaring Fork, with the league title, has clinched a berth to the regional round of 32 in the Class 3A state playoffs. All the other teams must fight their way in through the 3A WSL District Tournament.”We need to make sure we come out and play good basketball,” said Green. “And if we do that, I’m confident good things will happen.”Sitting at No. 2 is pretty exciting. We’ve made it to the regional round before, but it’s been as a fifth seed and it’s been a struggle. This year we have a great opportunity to do better than that if we continue to play as well as we have.”Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is

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