Basalt girls basketball returns deep senior class for Contini’s second season
With a relatively young roster and a first-year coach, the start of the 2018-19 season went about as expected for the Basalt High School girls basketball team. That start included six straight losses out of the gate and a 1-13 record as the end of January closed in.
But by the finish something had started to click for the Longhorns. They won five of six games at one point to conclude the season 6-15 overall.
“When we went into last year, it was my first-ever coaching experience at that kind of level, and it was a lot of those girls’ first time experiencing play on that type of level,” coach Amy Contini said. “We started off pretty rough, but at the end of the year … they bonded really well.”
Contini, a native of Alaska and the daughter of two coaches, was Basalt’s “C” team coach two seasons ago before taking over as the head varsity coach last winter, despite being only 22. Her inexperience combined with that of the players didn’t lead to much winning early on, but as the season wore on there was obvious growth from both entities.
Entering the 2019-20 season, both Contini and the majority of last year’s roster returns with hope to build on that late-season success.
“We are having a lot of fun. We have a really great senior class,” Contini said. “We are pretty much going to be rocking the same varsity with about three new girls, maybe four getting some more time. They are having a lot of fun in the gym. It’s always really energetic.”
This winter’s starting five will look a whole lot like last year’s. Junior Gracie Reardon is back and Contini believes she will once again lead the team in scoring; Reardon averaged 8.3 points per game over 17 games played as a sophomore.
Riley Webb and Taylor Glen, both now seniors, were right behind Reardon in scoring, with Zoe Vozick having been the fourth player to break 100 points on the season a year ago. Vozick, a standout in softball, also is a senior and joins junior Riley Dolan among the five starters. Contini called Dolan the team’s “defensive specialist.”
The team doesn’t have a lot of size, but does make up for it in athleticism.
“We want teams to play zone against us because we want to space the floor and get our shooters open looks,” Contini said, “but we are not opposed to the man either because we are really, really fast. We have girls that are just running out of this gym.”
The Longhorns should also have a deep bench as well as more depth among the coaching staff, a fact Contini said has really helped her out entering her second season in charge.
Basalt opens the season Thursday against Eaton at a tournament hosted by Platte Valley. Eaton is preseason No. 5 in Class 3A, having been a state semifinalist a season ago. BHS will then play Platte Valley on Friday and Valley on Saturday. Basalt’s home opener is Dec. 13 against South Park.
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After getting the go-ahead from state health officials, CHSAA has given four sports the thumbs-up to compete this fall: boys golf, boys tennis, softball and cross country.