Basalt girls riding wave of success
Success, it seems, has become an annual rite for the Basalt High girls basketball team.The four-time defending Class 3A Western Slope League champion Lady Longhorns’ dominance began when the current crop of seniors were in the eighth grade.But the 22-5 squad of last season – the fifth-place consolation champs at the Class 3A state tournament – returns only one starter this season, senior guard Deanna Spracher.However, guard Kelsea Mulcahy and post players Lindsey Soucie, Allison Brumet and Cassie Meyer, all juniors, return with extensive varsity experience, and second-year head coach Terry Kappeli is expecting another strong season.”We’ve got a lot of youth and four brand-new starters, so we’re still looking for continuity,” said Kappeli, whose Longhorns open the 2004-05 campaign with a nonleague game on the road against Rifle at 6 p.m. tonight.”And that’s something we’ve got to build on as we go during the year, to see what rotations work, because it’s a brand-new team.”The last two years Basalt has opened against the larger, Class 4A Rifle, and lost. On Saturday, Basalt travels to Denver for another nonleague game against Faith Christian.”We always try to stack our pre-Christmas schedule with tough games so we’re ready for league play,” said Kappeli. “And Rifle, we know, is always tough.”The following weekend, Dec. 9-11, Basalt travels to Steamboat Springs for the annual Steamboat Invitational Tournament.”We’re real fortunate that Basalt girls have a winning tradition. They come in expecting that and they leave accomplishing that. They’re taught good skills at the lower levels and, because they’re always successful, there’s always high expectations,” said Kappeli.”I wouldn’t say they’re inexperienced. Maybe not as starters, but all these players got varsity time last year and, fortunately, I think we have a deeper bench than last year. The real challenge, I think, is finding the combinations. And we will figure it out.”
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.