Clint Hunter era set to get underway for Basalt High boys basketball team
Clint Hunter said every team has an ugly period prior to the season, something that has to be ironed out during practice. For the Basalt High School boys basketball team, of which Hunter is its first-year head coach, the hope is that period has come and gone.
“We are finally coming out of that ugliness that takes place every year with every team and the guys are working hard at it, so it’s been fun,” Hunter said. “What they were doing before wasn’t bad, it’s just different than what we are doing now.”
Hunter takes over the BHS program from C.P. Martinez, who stepped down after two seasons to take a teaching job outside of the Roaring Fork Valley. The Longhorns went a combined 9-31 under Martinez, including 3-17 last season.
Basalt, which hasn’t been that strong on a yearly basis over the past couple of decades, is hoping to return to the prowess it had in Danny Martinez’s final two season, including a 21-4 campaign in 2016-17 when senior Michael Glen led the team to the 3A state quarterfinals. Glen has become a standout player for the Colorado School of Mines.
The Longhorns lost a couple of key players from last year’s team in Trevor Reuss and Jake Reardon, but do return seniors Brian Granados and Jackson Rapaport. Granados was second with 8.8 points per game last winter, while Rapaport and sophomore Marlon Nelson will make up the team’s size. Junior Alonso Silva also is expected to be a major contributor.
“The attitude they come into the door with every day is like a coach’s dream,” Hunter said of this year’s team. “C.P. had said that even the games that were tough games for them, just the quality of kids that are in the gym, he said the kids are absolutely unbelievable. And it’s one thing to hear it, but just to experience it has been awesome.”
Basalt opens its season Thursday at Eaton, ranked preseason No. 8 in Class 3A. BHS then plays Platte Valley on Friday and Valley on Saturday, all games hosted by Eaton. The Longhorns will play at a tournament hosted by Weld Central next week.
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Season B, the normal winter sports season, is fast approaching the finish line. The Aspen High School boys basketball team will play its final regular season game Saturday at home against Moffat County.