Basalt girls are district champs |

Basalt girls are district champs

Nate Peterson
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” After a long weekend in Palisade, Basalt’s girls basketball team couldn’t be more excited to be headed back to its own gym for its next game.

The Longhorns locked up their second straight district title Saturday night with a gritty 61-55 win over sixth-seeded Olathe, which upset No. 2 seed Hotchkiss on Friday night.

Basalt coach Carolyn Compton said she wasn’t necessarily happy with the score of the game, but in the end, the final result is all that matters. The win avenged a 57-52 loss to Olathe on Feb. 15 and secured home-court advantage for the Longhorns in the regional round.

“We weren’t quite as sharp as we were [Friday] night and it ended up being much more of a mental game than expected, but as a coach you’re happy with that as long as your players handle it,” Compton said. “Our defense wasn’t quite as sharp, and we didn’t push the ball as hard as we should have, but overall everybody played a pretty good game. They came out and played us strong, just like everyone always does.”

Basalt jumped out to a 20-13 lead after the first quarter and extended it to a 12-point advantage at the half, leading 38-26. In a second half, the Pirates continued to whittle away at the Basalt lead, outscoring the Longhorns, 29-23.

The Longhorns (19-3) struggled to find rhythm in a second half that lacked tempo because of a host of fouls called on both teams.

The Longhorns were led by senior guard Kat Fitzpatrick’s 19 points. Senior forward Dayne Toney, despite being in foul trouble much of the night, added 15.

A night after calling one of her senior captains out, Compton was pleased with Toney’s effort.

“They came after Dayne hard,” Compton said. “Whether she deserved it or not, she got into foul trouble. For how much she sat, she was playing solid when she was on the floor.”

Reserve Melissa Stewart had 10 for the Longhorns and Hailey Guglielmo added eight.

The Longhorns now can focus on the next round, where last season they used the home-court advantage to earn a trip to state, eventually losing in the 3A title game to Machebeuf.

“I’ve been coaching these girls for the past four years, because I was their [junior varsity] coach,” Compton said. “We’ve really worked on playing smart basketball and strong basketball, and they’re all very smart players. … I think they all have a little bit of a bad taste in their mouths and a chip on the shoulder from last year, and I’m all for that as long as they into positive energy. I think they know how to do that.”