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Longhorn boys hope to turn it around

Tim Mutrie

There is good reason to be optimistic about the season ahead for the Basalt High boys basketball team.For one, the Longhorns return three All-League selections from last year’s 7-16 squad – senior swingman Cody Burkholder, junior guard Ben Pollock and junior forward Darren Deroux.”Those guys were a bulk of what we did last year and we’re going to count on them heavily to do some of those same things this year,” said Basalt coach Michael Green. “And then we have some newcomers who I think will fill the gaps well.”While we don’t have huge numbers, I think we’re a lot deeper in terms of quality off the bench and working players in during key situations. I don’t think we’ll see any drop off, which is been something that’s been challenging for us in the past,” Green continued.Basalt opens the season on the road against Rifle tonight at 7:30 p.m. On Friday, the ‘Horns host their home-opener against another larger, Class 4A nonleague opponent, Moffat County, at 6:30 p.m. at the BHS Big House.”We’ve opened against both schools the last two years and all the games have been tight,” said Green. “So we’re hoping for some good results.”I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but Rifle’s still in the football playoffs and they may be missing some players, and I think Moffat may be in the same situation. You always want to play your opponents’ best teams, but we’ll bring our best and see how we do,” Green continued.In addition to the three returning All-League players, Basalt will be looking toseniors Jesse Regan and Justin Kovach to play bigger roles this season. Juniors Riley Eaton, Jamie Wirkler and John Paul Fitzpatrick will likely be assets off the bench for Basalt, according to Green.”Our soccer program was very successful this past fall and football had a strong season as well, and we’ve got a lot of those guys on this team,” said Green. “So hopefully, some of that momentum is going to carry over.”I think the kids are eager to have some success on the court.”

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