Stage set for BHS-RFHS showdown
Aspen Times Staff Writer
The Basalt and Roaring Fork high school girls b-ball players have been thinking about this game, this rematch, since their first game the night of Dec. 16.
On that night at the BHS Bighouse, Basalt’s multidimensional senior, Lauren Redfern, broke out for 34 points ” breaking the team’s single-game scoring record ” as the Lady Longhorns beat Roaring Fork handily by 11 points, 62-51.
Fast forward two-plus months and Roaring Fork hasn’t lost a game since, standing at 12-1 in Class 3A Western Slope League play and 17-1 overall. Meanwhile, the Lady ‘Horns faltered only once, on Feb. 6 at Cedaredge ” a game that saw one of team’s senior leaders KO’d in the third quarter with a concussion, a loss that served to even the league standings as Basalt was dealt its one and only league defeat. Basalt now stands at 12-1 in league and 15-3 overall.
On Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at RFHS in Carbondale, the two powerhouses will clash again ” this time for the 3A WSL championship, an honor that Basalt has owned and defended the last three years.
On Tuesday night at Hotchkiss, Basalt’s second-to-last, regular-season game, the red-hot Redfern led all scorers with 16 points and the Lady ‘Horns rolled to a 59-44 win to set the stage for an epic showdown on Friday.
“I don’t think our team lives for one game, though,” first-year Basalt head coach Terry Kappeli said Wednesday. “I think they live for the end result and that’s being able to return to [the state tournament]. There’s several other milestones and goals you hit along the way and that’s the nice thing about this team: They don’t play for one game, they play for one season.”
Both Basalt and Roaring Fork are guaranteed top seeds in the 3A WSL district tournament, which opens Tuesday night. Both teams, as top four (of eight) seeds, will also host their opening-round matches, but what remains to be determined is what team will be No. 1.
“Everyone expected that it would come down to the two teams, playing for the championship,” Kappeli said.
Against Hotchkiss on Tuesday, Redfern paced the Longhorn offense, as usual, while senior guard Brittany Pollock had 13, junior guard Deanna Spracher had 12 and senior Rochelle Moebius ” who suffered the concussion in the defeat against Cedaredge ” returned to her old form, chipping in 10.
“We decided we wanted to use Hotchkiss as a stepping stone for our next game,” said Kappeli.
Asked about the hallmarks of his teams’ success, Kappeli looked back not forward.
“There’s always pressure, we’re always the team to beat,” he said. “But to be honest, I think our program has had such a winning tradition that it’s the confidence that carries over, starting seven years ago with coach Debbie Cain.
Basalt boys fall to Hotchkiss
The BHS boys hoops team dropped to 5-7 in league and 5-12 overall with a 48-38 loss at Hotchkiss on Tuesday. Senior Hugo Araujo scored a game-high 13 points for the ‘Horns, but Basalt managed only 10 points in the first half.
With a 20-point outburst in the third, BHS cut the deficit to 34-30 entering the fourth quarter, but Hotchkiss outscored the ‘Horns 14-8 down the stretch to secure the win.
Of the 10 players listed on the varsity roster ahead of Tuesday’s home game with Summit, two were juniors, seven were sophomores and one was a freshman. It’s a far cry from the class of 10 seniors who last season led the Skiers to a perfect 27-0 mark and the Class 3A state championship.