Basalt girls clip Ellicott, clinch berth in Saturday’s consolation final
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
FORT COLLINS, Colo. ” Emily Peetz knew Friday could’ve been her last game.
She played like it was.
Basalt’s senior captain hit five 3-pointers, scored 19 points, and Basalt outlasted Ellicott, 54-49, in a tight consolation bracket semifinal Friday at the 3A state tournament at Moby Arena.
The Longhorns, will play Buena Vista in Saturday’s consolation championship at 10 a.m.
“We wanted to show people we are a good team,” Peetz said. “We’re going to come out and win one championship, even if it’s not for first place.”
Top-seeded Basalt (22-4) was eliminated from championship contention after Thursday’s lopsided defeat to Colorado Springs Christian. The loss was the Longhorns’ second straight at Colorado State University; they came up short in last season’s state title game with Machebeuf.
It was clear they didn’t want to make it three in a row. Basalt, which trailed by one at the break, opened the third quarter with a 15-3 run in the first four minutes to pull ahead by 11. After Peetz nailed a 3-pointer from the wing, senior Dayne Toney scored eight of the Longhorns’ next 10 points, shaking free twice underneath and going 4-for-4 from the line.
The Thunderhawks did not fold, however. They closed the third with eight consecutive points in 2 minutes and 24 seconds, trimming the Basalt lead to 39-36.
Peetz sank two free throws to open the fourth then, after fellow senior Hailey Guglielmo scored underneath, she finished off the glass to stretch the lead to eight with 4:50 remaining.
Ellicott would pull no closer than five the rest of the way. It tried to extend the game by putting Basalt on the foul line, but the strategy backfired. The Longhorns calmly sank six of their seven fourth-quarter free throw attempts to give themselves some breathing room. They hit 11-of-13 in the second half and shot 71 percent from the line in the game.
“It’s still frustrating because I know we can play so much better,” said Basalt coach Carolyn Compton. “It was tighter than it should have been.”
Kat Fitzpatrick scored on a crossover in the lane, then Peetz hit a 3 in the corner to give Basalt an early first-quarter lead. The Thunderhawks, thanks in large part to the play of center Ashley Miller, battled back to take the lead three different times in the opening eight minutes.
Peetz beat the buzzer with a 3 to give the Longhorns a 14-12 lead. The guard’s heroics became a common occurrence. She drained another shot from deep ” the first of her two 3’s in the second ” with 6:32 remaining in the first half to cap a 10-0 run that stretched the lead to 12 and prompted an Ellicott timeout.
Not to be outdone, Miller scored nine points in the second to help her team climb back into the game and take a 25-24 half-time lead. She finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Peetz and Basalt seized control from there and, despite being challenged multiple times in the final 16 minutes, successfully extended its season.
Toney finished with 14 points and six rebounds, and Guglielmo added eight points for the Longhorns, who shot 40 percent from the floor ” 20 points higher than in Thursday’s loss.
Basalt will be battling for fifth place today. But, as Peetz and Compton were quick to point out, it feels good to still be playing for something.
“My seniors and I decided that we weren’t done yet,” Compton said. “Only [four] teams can win titles [today]. We’re going to be one of them.”
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.