Basalt girls basketball rolls over Battle Mountain in statement win after break
The Basalt High School girls basketball team went into the holiday break somewhat disappointed. They had won a couple of games, yes, but the internal expectations were growing and not being met by the players.
Unfortunately for Battle Mountain, the Huskies found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time as BHS rolled to a 68-40 win Wednesday night in Basalt, a win that isn’t surprising to the Longhorns.
“Honestly, the girls were getting frustrated over break. They were like, ‘Why aren’t we winning by more?’ They want to keep winning,” second-year Basalt coach Amy Contini said. “They basically had a come-to-Jesus moment over break, talking about the difference of being good and being great and if we want to be a good team this year or if we want to be a great team this year. And I think today it finally clicked that they can really be a great team.”
Battle Mountain, now 2-4, is a Class 4A team that won 15 games a season ago. The Huskies never looked competitive against Basalt, with BHS jumping out to a 15-4 lead after a quarter and had a 35-18 lead at halftime.
Junior Gracie Reardon led the Longhorns with 20 points.
“A lot of good things going on right now,” Contini said. “Pressure is where they like to be. They like to be pressured — they want to be expected to win games.”
After losing its first two games, Basalt has now won three straight. Prior to the break, BHS won back-to-back overtime games over Valley (58-51) and Rifle (41-38) to reach .500.
Wednesday’s win is a milestone of sorts for the program, as it’s the first time BHS, now 3-2, has been over .500 at any point in a season since it started 2-1 in the 2010-11 season. According to MaxPreps, Basalt hasn’t won its season opener since the 2007-08 school year.
Also, the 68 points scored against Battle Mountain are the most by a Basalt team since a 72-46 win over Las Animas on Dec. 3, 2016.
Next up, the Longhorns will open league play with a home game against Coal Ridge (4-4) on Tuesday, Jan. 14. The Titans have a non-league game against Vail Christian on Thursday, Jan. 9. In their lone meeting against Coal Ridge last season, Basalt lost 51-35 but played without three key players.
“Really big for us, especially to show the league where we are and to show ourselves where we are,” Contini said of the importance of Tuesday’s game with Coal Ridge. “We felt like we still played a really great game against them (last season). These girls should be starting to feel some pressure and the expectation is for us to be great and not to be good.”
The Basalt boys (1-6) did not play Wednesday night and will open 2020 against Coal Ridge on Tuesday with the girls.
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The Aspen High School volleyball team continued its playoff push on Thursday with a crucial 3-0 sweep of rival Basalt inside the BHS gymnasium. The Skiers won by scores of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-18 to avenge a five-set non-league loss to the Longhorns back on Aug. 26 in Aspen.