Big Saturday in place for Basalt athletics
A six-hour bus ride might be to blame for the Basalt High School boys basketball team’s season-opening 72-59 loss to Del Norte in the first round of a tournament in La Jara. Since then, it’s been pretty smooth sailing for the Longhorns.
“We came out flat in our first game,” coach Danny Martinez said. “We got over it and the next day we came out to play.”
Basalt went 2-1 in that tournament, beating Olathe (82-27) and Center (82-12). Thursday night, the Longhorns got a 64-53 win at Delta (1-1 overall) to reach 3-1 on the season.
Saturday, BHS will host Vail Christian at 6 p.m. in its only home game this side of the holiday break, and one of only a handful of home games it will have all season.
“It’s very, very important for us. We want to play as much as possible at home,” Martinez said. “Whoever comes our way, we will be ready to play.”
Basalt girls making strides
The Basalt High School girls basketball team will make its home debut at 4:30 p.m. Saturday against Vail Christian, two nights removed from a 61-25 loss at Delta. The Longhorns are 1-3 in their first season under BHS graduate Kat Fitzpatrick.
“I’m not unhappy with where we are at. I’m pretty optimistic,” Fitzpatrick said. “The outcome of the game isn’t so much important to me as the effort that’s put in and the improvements I see from game to game. They’ve improved at a lot of small stuff that I’ve been looking for, so I’m pretty happy.”
Basalt’s lone win on the girls’ side came in a 72-46 win over Las Animas in the final game of the season-opening La Jara tournament. It was important for the team not only to win, but reaching 70 points was a big accomplishment for a program not used to winning.
“There are a lot of habits we are working on fixing, and it’s not going to happen overnight,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s really important, just to get the energy level up and to get the girls excited. Overall it’s just really helpful for starting fresh.”
Despite the relative proximity, Vail Christian isn’t a team Basalt has played against for a number of seasons, boys or girls. The Saint girls are 1-3 and the boys are 0-3 entering Saturday’s games.
Basalt wrestling heads to Delta
The Basalt High School wrestling team is 4-3 in duals so far this season, heading into a difficult tournament at Delta on Saturday. The Longhorns lost to Salida to open the season, 36-33, before going 3-2 at a tournament in Buena Vista. Thursday at Coal Ridge, Basalt won a dual, 49-30.
Among the standouts early on is junior heavyweight Oswaldo Morales, who is 7-0 entering the Delta tournament. There, he is expected to face some of his toughest competition of the season.
“He’s just getting bigger and stronger,” BHS coach Ryan Bradley said of Morales. “If he manages to place in that tournament, that’s a pretty big accomplishment being that there are a lot of top five kids there from 2A and 3A.”
Wednesday in Basalt, the Longhorns will host a triangular with Moffat County and Cedaredge, one of only two varsity home meets this season.
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A ski season surrounded with uncertainty kicks off on Wednesday. The six inches of new snowfall Tuesday will allow opening of an additional 62 acres on Aspen Mountain, bringing opening-day total to about 160 acres.