Rifle wrestlers win home ‘Rumble in the Rockies’ tourney
The Rifle High School wrestling team won its home tournament Saturday, the Rumble in the Rockies, besting Meeker, Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs in the Gold Pool of the 12-team tournament.
All five area wrestling teams — Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Coal Ridge, Grand Valley and Basalt (which includes wrestlers from Carbondale’s Roaring Fork High) — participated in the tournament.
According to results posted to trackwrestling.com, Glenwood Springs finished fourth in the gold pool, behind Rifle, Meeker and Steamboat Springs. Grand Valley was fourth in the silver pool, and Basalt was third and Coal Ridge fourth in the bronze pool, after a full day of wrestling action at Rifle High.
Following the initial pool matches, the Gold Pool round saw Rifle come out on top of Steamboat Springs, 43-18, and Meeker, 43-31. In the third round of action, the Bears out-wrestled Glenwood Springs, 54-22. Glenwood also suffered losses to Meeker, 65-13, and Steamboat Springs, 51-18.
Glenwood Springs advanced to the Gold Medal round by defeating Hayden, 36-24, and Basalt, 40-24; Rifle advanced with team wins over Grand Junction Central 57-15 and Rangely, 66-16.
Demon boys hold on for rivalry basketball win at Rifle
Everyone in the Jack Smith Gymnasium held their breath on Friday night as Rifle senior guard Garrett Robinson arched what could have been the game-winning 3-pointer toward his team’s basket with just 9 seconds showing on the clock.
When the ball bounced high off the rim and into the waiting arms of Glenwood’s Mitchell Burt, the Demons had pulled off the big rivalry win, holding on for a nail-biting 49-45 road victory in 4A Western Slope League action.
Burt sank two free throws to ice the win after being fouled in a game that was well worth the price of admission, and then some.
“There were times when we felt like we had them, but they (Rifle) always fought their way back,” Glenwood head coach Fred Heisel said.
It was the Patrick Young and John Iuele show for the Demons early on, as the two senior guards staked Glenwood to an early lead. Iuele’s baseline fade away jumper gave Glenwood a 9-2 advantage as the Demons looked to be rolling along. Rifle’s Carter Pressler brought the Bears back into the game with a 3-pointer, trimming Glenwood’s lead to 11-8 at the end of the first period.
Senior post AJ Adams, who helped control the rebounding department all night long for Glenwood, scored a couple of baskets in the paint, and fellow Demon senior Adam Schrader got a bucket in close to give Glenwood a 19-16 lead.
Robinson hit a 3-pointer for Rifle and senior Trey Lujan got a couple of free throws to drop, keeping the Bears right in Glenwood’s rearview mirror at 22-20 at the halfway point of the contest.
The Demons started the second half in a stifling full court press that gave the Bears — who basically run a five-guard lineup — fits. Young scored on a drive to the basket that gave Glenwood its biggest lead of the game at 33-25 midway through the third period, but Lujan and Kade Bishop each hit 3-pointers for the Bears to keep the home team close.
To start the final period, Lujan hit two free throws and then swished the net with a floater in the lane to tie the tense affair at 38-all.
Iuele, as he often does in pressure situations, came to the rescue for the Demons with a 3-pointer and a score off a baseline drive to give Glenwood some breathing room. Lujan answered with a 3-pointer to tie the game once again. Adams got a critical rebound for Glenwood and scored on a put back as the game would then come down to the ending dramatics that would fall Glenwood’s way.
In a key statistic for the game, Glenwood out rebounded Rifle by a 30-11 count.
Iuele led Glenwood with 18 points for the game, with Young and Burt tallying 9 and 8 points, respectively. Lujan had a game-high 25 points for Rifle with Alonso Ruiz chipping in with 10 points.
Glenwood (9-3, 2-0 WSL) will face Grand Junction Central on the road Saturday afternoon.
Glenwood 52, Rifle 17
The Glenwood Springs girls ventured into Rifle’s gymnasium on Friday night and ran their record to 9-3 overall and a perfect 2-0 in 4A Western Slope League play with a convincing 52-17 win over the home-standing Bears.
Nursing a slim 11-6 lead after one quarter of play, the Demons used a 15-4 scoring outburst in the decisive second frame to put Rifle into a submission hold that they were never able to break out of.
Glenwood junior guard Maddie Moser dropped in a couple of 3-point tosses to give the Demons some early momentum as they battled Rifle’s deliberate pace of play. Sophomore guard Jamie Caron notched a basket and two free throws to get Rifle into the first quarter break trailing by just 5 points.
The flood gates opened from that point on for the Demons after Rifle’s Mackenzie Elizardo and Glenwood senior post Michelle Marshall traded baskets in the paint.
The Demon onslaught started when sophomore left-hander Kenzie Winder drilled a long 3-pointer and senior guard Natalya Taylor scored on a hard drive to the bucket and hit a free throw to complete a conventional 3-point play. It was then senior Kate Shanahan’s turn to hit a soft shot off the glass for a Glenwood score. Winder added another basket to her game resume as the Bears were officially rocking back on their heels facing a 26-10 deficit at intermission.
“We have talked a lot as a team about coming out flat to begin games, and we started in similar fashion tonight,” Glenwood head coach Rhonda Moser said. “Once the kids got into the rhythm of the game, though, they really started playing.”
Glenwood widened the big lead to 35-13 midway through the third period. Senior post Qwynn Massie scored on a back door cut and a shot in the lane off a miss by Taylor. Rifle senior Delaney Phillips got a basket and free toss to end the Bears’ dry spell, but Moser would answer with her third triple of the night, and Taylor scored on two hard drives down the lane. In the blink of an eye, it was game, set and match.
“Our plan was to make Glenwood play slow. We did a good job of that early on, but Glenwood is a very athletic team and hard to keep in check,” second year Rifle coach Eric Caro said.
Moser led Glenwood in scoring with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Taylor chipped in with 11 points, and Massie had 8 points and 6 rebounds. Caron led Rifle with 5 points.
Glenwood heads to Grand Junction to play the Central Warriors on Saturday.
Other Friday game results
Girls — Grand Valley 58, Olathe 41; Delta 51, Roaring Fork 39
Boys — Grand Valley 59, Olathe 48; Delta 65, Roaring Fork 52
Sunlight Trails — the stories behind the ski run names
Winter brings renewed wonder when locals and visitors alike take to the trails at Glenwood Springs’ own Sunlight Mountain ski resort.
Each of the more than 60 ski runs at Sunlight has a name, and with each a little story behind the name, according to some of the long-time staffers at the resort.
Many of the ski runs simply honor the region’s geography, culture, history and natural wonders:
Crystal — for the Crystal River and the historic mining boom town of Crystal City, located above Marble toward Schofield Pass.
Ute and Peacepipe — In honor of the earlier native inhabitants of the region, the Ute Indians.
White River — For the National Forest on which Sunlight is permitted to operate.
Defiance — The name given the frontier fort that was established near the confluence of the Grand (Colorado) and Roaring Fork rivers, which preceded the incorporation of what became Glenwood Springs.
Frying Pan Alley — For the Fryingpan River Valley.
Columbine — The official Colorado state flower.
Sun King — The name of one of the many historic mining camps located south of Glenwood Springs; among them Sunlight itself.
Holiday Hill — The small ski hill that preceded Sunlight.
Midland Express — Named for the Midland Railroad that operated in the Roaring Fork Valley during the mining boom.
And, Zephyr — Named for the famous California Zephyr, the historic passenger train line that came through Glenwood Springs. The name is still used by the Amtrak line.
Some of Sunlight’s runs got their names through naming contests, including Beaujolais — a name submitted by Charlie Sprick, father of local artist Dan Sprick and grandfather of Dan’s son, Daniel, who is a ski patroller at Sunlight. Mary Sprick also submitted “Loopity Loop,” which became simply Loop.
Others of Sunlight’s trails are named for people who contributed in some way to the ski area’s legacy. Many of them have since passed, but others are still living and remain influential.
Among the latter lot is Tom J’s Glades, formerly Upper Glades, named in honor of longtime Sunlight general manager Tom Jankovsky, who is still a part owner and financial officer for the resort, as well as a three-term Garfield County commissioner.
And, more recently, three runs on the famed East Ridge were named Aligator Alleys (A1, A2 and A3) in honor of current U.S. Ski Team member and New Castle resident Alice McKennis. McKennis got her ski legs under her skiing at Sunlight as a small child with her father, Greg McKennis.
As for the in-memorium honors, there’s Dawson, located on the west side of the main bowl. It was named in memory of Roy Dawson, who died after a Jeep accident while helping with the construction of the Segundo ski lift. Speaking of which, Segundo itself honors the region’s Spanish heritage. Segundo means “second” in English. The lift was the ski area’s second. The original bottom-to-top lift had a midway option to disembark — thus the run named Midway.
The current upper lift-line run, Primo, is named for Primo Martino, who owned the land on which the lift was ultimately constructed.
Joslin, another popular west-side run, includes a plaque at the very top of the run honoring the memory of Jim Joslin, an active member of the Sunlight Ski Patrol. Joslin was among the 12 Rocky Mountain Natural Gas employees who died in a tragic propane gas explosion at the RMNG distribution warehouse on Devereux Road on Dec. 16, 1985.
Teed’s Run, located on the East Ridge, is named for Teed Stoner, who died in an avalanche while snowboarding on the ridge in the early 1990s. Afterwards, Sunlight decided to officially open and maintain the area, which has become popular with steep-and-deep expert skiers and boarders.
Not far from there is Tod’s Ride, named for Todd Elston, a long-time ski patrol director who was injured while doing avalanche mitigation work before the East Ridge was officially opened.
Ivy’s Run, a short trail descending from Columbine to Ute, is named in memory of Ivy Adler, a former member of the Sunlight Ski Team who died in a tragic car accident on Highway 82.
Not far from there is Charlie’s Glades, named in memory of a child who died after hitting a tree while skiing through the woods between Cornice and White River.
There’s also Perry’s Plunge, named for the late longtime Carbondale-area rancher Bob Perry, an original Sunlight investor; Gibson’s Glade, named for Ed Gibson, a longtime Sunlight building and grounds and general maintenance worker; Sherman Forest, named for Tom and Olly Sherman, founders of the 100 Club ski and hiking group in Glenwood Springs; Little Max, named for the late Max Doose; and Casanova Glade, named for the late Tony Casanova, another longtime Sunlight volunteer ski patroller.
Finally, though not a ski run, there’s also Leonard’s Lookout, an archway framing Mt. Sopris and the Elk Mountain Range that’s named for the late long-time part owner Leonard Lorentson. His son, Todd, now holds those shares of the company, and his granddaughter, Tiffany, sits on Sunlight’s Board of Directors.
With annual Aspen presentation, 5Point Film launches into 2020
When 5Point Film started hosting an annual Aspen show seven years ago, it was a sort of best-of program with encore presentations of crowd favorite films from the previous year’s flagship festival in Carbondale.
But after consistently selling out its Wheeler Opera House shows and expanding to two nights in 2018, the Aspen event has evolved into a higher profile happening with all new 5Point-curated films about thoughtful adventure with inspirational special guests and a signature 5Point concert-style program.
It’s evolved into the nonprofit’s annual kickoff.
“I’m seeing Aspen as setting the stage for what’s to come,” said 5Point executive director Regna Jones.
The 2020 program runs Friday, Jan. 17, and Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Wheeler.
Friday night’s films, presented in partnership with Challenge Aspen, include three inspirational shorts about adaptive athletes and adventurers: “Out on a Limb” profiles rock climber Kai Lin and his “badass prosthetic foot”; 5Point regular Fitz Cahall’s new film “The Mighty Finn” tells the story of an adventurer with cerebral palsy; “Broken” goes inside skier Jon Wilson’s life after losing a leg to cancer.
Saturday night’s mix of films includes a screening of local hero and Olympic medalist Alex Ferreira’s “The Scenic Route,” a travelogue about the X Games champion’s recent travels in Japan.
Built on its five titular points of purpose, respect, commitment, humility and balance, 5Point is more than a showcase of ski porn for adrenaline junkies.
“It has a power to impact people, especially when you get people in a room watching films as they should be seen at this level of craft,” Jones said. “It does have a power to transform people.”
Both nights in Aspen will be emceed by the inimitable Paddy O’Connell, the skier and sometimes comedian who settled in the valley after a trip to 5Point in Carbondale several years ago.
IF YOU GO …
What: 5Point Aspen
Where: Wheeler Opera House
When: Friday, Jan. 17 & Saturday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m.
How much: $20-$28
More info: Friday’s short films are ‘Night of the Turn,’ ‘The Running Pastor,’ ‘Out on a Limb,’ ‘Camel Finds Water,’ ‘Return to Earth,’ ‘Circle of the Sun,’ ‘The Mighty Finn’ and ‘Broken;’ Saturday’s include ‘Banking on Bailey,’ ‘Gone Tomorrow: The Story of Kentucky Ice Climbing,’ ‘Billder,’ ‘Chasing the Sublime’ and ‘The Scenic Route’ with special guest Alex Ferreira; 5pointfilm.org
Now in its 13th year, 5Point has evolved into more than a once-a-year film festival and gathering of the tribes in Carbondale. It has become a valley nonprofit with a year-round presence and impact as well as a national tastemaker for adventure films and the people who love them. It has established its Aspen event as a pillar of the winter season here along with the vaunted April flagship festival in Carbondale, an ongoing “5Point On the Road” tour (there’s a tour stop in Stratton, Vermont, on Saturday night) and its Dream Project scholarshops funding initiatives by Roaring Fork Valley students.
Jones said 5Point also is in expansion mode as a resource for filmmakers, the brands that produce most adventure films and the natural environment that the 5Point community cherishes.
Jones said she expects 5Point this year to expand its footprint and programs in education, possibly with a college partnership, and with a new master class at the Carbondale festival.
The nonprofit is also taking a leadership role on both the activist and business sides of the outdoor industry, building upon its annual Denver program at the Paramount Theater in partnership with the Outdoor Retailer expo and conference.
For filmmakers, 5Point is growing its established 5Point Film Fund, which helps finance productions that embody its five points. The Jackson Hole-based clothing company Stio recently committed $10,000 for 5Point film funding, which will go to a filmmaker who wins a public movie pitch contest at the festival in April.
All of these initiatives are built upon the 5Point foundation of gathering to honor storytellers and share the experience of watching films.
“I want 5Point to continue pushing the envelope of what the future is for adventure film and storytelling, keeping that spark around how important it is, while also keeping some levity around it,” Jones said. “We need places to go to laugh and cry and cheer and sweat and feel everything together with a bunch of people. And then we go out and stand a little taller.”
Coming off her first World Cup points, Hailey Swirbul continues to rise as cross-country skier
For a few brief moments, Hailey Swirbul was the star of the U.S. cross-country ski team. Sure, she was far off the standard set by American teammate Sophie Caldwell that day — in fact, she was only fifth among all U.S. women in the race — but her 30th-place finish was what stood out.
“I keep saying the most exciting part of that day was how excited my teammates were. I think they understand that they are part of that little step — or to me a big step — that I made,” Swirbul recently told The Aspen Times. “They see that and they celebrate that and that’s special to have the team supporting me and be that happy for me. Meanwhile, Sophie Caldwell is third on the day and she gets a normal congratulations.”
The day was Dec. 14 at a World Cup sprint in Davos, Switzerland. Swirbul, a 2016 Basalt High School graduate and former Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club athlete, was getting a rare and surprising World Cup start in only her second season with the U.S. ski team. More of a distance athlete, by no means did Swirbul believe her first World Cup points would come in a sprint.
Then again, she brought extra clothes with her that day just in case she needed them, should she get past the qualifying rounds.
“There is definitely something to be said about that,” Swirbul pondered. “I kind of threw in a change of clothes as an afterthought in case I made it. So I don’t know if I fully believed I was going to pull that off. Part of me did, obviously, because I brought a change of clothes in the end and I ended up needing them to go onto the heats.”
Swirbul started four World Cup races last winter, her first on that stage. Her best finish was 41st, the spot she finished in three of her four races. She opened the 2019-20 season on the World Cup, getting three starts in Ruka, Finland, with underwhelming results. She had been slated to compete in Lillehammer, Norway, a week later, but fell ill and had to sit out.
“The period started off a little rough for me,” Swirbul said. “I definitely got served a big slice of humble pie and that was what I expected, so it wasn’t a huge defeated feeling.”
Then came Davos. She hadn’t planned on starting that Dec. 14 sprint, but when a few of her teammates fell ill and couldn’t compete, a spot opened and she decided to give it a go. Somehow, on a whim, she finished 30th, which is the cutoff for scoring World Cup points. Her first World Cup point was exactly that, a single point in a sprint race she wasn’t even suppose to be in.
The next day, she finished 21st in a 10-kilometer freestyle for the first distance points of her World Cup career.
“That was really, really exciting,” Swirbul said. “I was really glad I was able to make that jump and prove to myself that I can do it again after a little bit of tough World Cup races in the past I’ve had. It’s no joke over there. If you are off in one race, if you are not 100% feeling it, then you are going to be way off the back.”
Following Davos, Swirbul returned home for a while over the holidays before she competed in the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships at the Michigan Tech Nordic Skiing Center in Houghton, Michigan. Fresh off the World Cup starts, Swirbul was simply dominant in Michigan, taking home national championships in the freestyle sprint, classic sprint and 20-kilometer classic. She was fourth in the 10k freestyle.
A nice bonus, her attention will certainly be back on the international stage the remainder of this winter. She hopes for more World Cup starts, but said her main races will be at the U23 world championships held Feb. 28 to March 8 in Oberwiesenthal, Germany.
“I’m going to try and not let it add extra pressure to me for anything. Belief is different than pressure,” Swirbul said of having World Cup points on her resume now. “For me I think it took believing in myself and focusing on what I do well and my strengths instead of trying to ski like someone else. I think it’s easiest to get caught up in trying to do what other people do really well and kind of lose what you can do well yourself.”
Like the rest of her teammates, the 21-year-old Swirbul aspires to make the 2022 Winter Olympics roster. And despite being one of the most inexperienced members of the current U.S. squad, she looks to be in a good position to make that happen. Scoring her first World Cup points have certainly helped her standing, all part of the journey she’s had in finding her role on the national team.
“If anything they have made me feel like an insider. Everyone on the team has included me and brought me and helped build me up,” Swirbul said. “It feels less weird to have dinner with all these incredible Olympians and athletes, but it’s also important for me to remember and take a step back sometimes. I’m so lucky to be able to be part of it in whatever way I can. I think I’m finding my place more in the group and they’ve been amazing.”
Glenwood hockey rolls Battle Mountain 3-0
Rebounding from a 4-3 stinger loss at Aspen last week, the Glenwood Springs boys hockey team righted its course Tuesday night at home with a 3-0 conference win over Battle Mountain.
“We didn’t play that well defensively [at Aspen] but it was still a fairly solid effort,” coach Tim Cota said. “When you don’t play a complete game against a strong opponent like Aspen, the result usually doesn’t go your way.”
The Demons (5-2 overall, 1-2 league) made some defensive adjustments against Battle Mountain (3-5-1, 2-1) that produced better results, he said.
“This was a game of role playing, and the entire team responded properly to their roles,” Cota said.
Goalie Hunter Hadsock kept the visiting Huskies out of the net, recording 39 saves on the night.
“Battle Mountain tested our tendie quite a few times in each period,” Cota said, adding the team stepped up to limit second, third and fourth chances, which wasn’t the case at Aspen.
“We cleared the net, cleared the rebounds and did it within the rules of the game,” he said. “That was nice to see … the composure, the effort, the discipline.”
After just over 20 minutes of scoreless play, Glenwood got its first goal 3:06 into the second period, when Colter Strautman found the net off the assist from Owen Mangeot.
Jeason Brown then scored on a power play 8:25 into the third period, assisted by Sean Mooney, and Strautman added his second goal of the night 4 minutes later, Mooney again with the assist.
What would have been the Demons’ second goal in the third got called off due to the goal post being off its moorings, but Glenwood made good 20 seconds later when Brown connected.
“That type of maturity is what we hope to see from our squad of veterans,” Cota said.
Next up for the Demons is a trip to Steamboat Springs on Saturday. Game time is 6 p.m.
Demons hoops teams open tough to begin league stretch
When Summit got hot in the 4A Western Slope League boys basketball opener at Glenwood Springs High School’s Spencer-Chavez Gymnasium Tuesday night, Demons senior Mitchell Burt got hotter, leading his team to a 54-40 win.
Glenwood opened up a 10-point lead early in the second quarter, only to see the Tigers come roaring back with a flurry of 3-pointers to close out the half down just one to the host Demons, 23-22.
The Tigers grabbed a brief lead to open the third quarter, 24-23, but Burt was having none of that. Better yet, his teammates smelled the kill.
“My team got me the shots, I just put ’em down,” Burt said of his 15-point solo run, all from beyond the 3-point line, over the course of the next 7 minutes.
By the end of the third, Glenwood held a 20-point lead and was well on its way to the statement win, improving to 8-3 overall and, most importantly, getting off to a 1-0 league start.
“We have a lot of seniors this year, and all throughout the league seniors moved on last year, so there’s a big opening,” Burt said. “Whoever comes out strongest first, that’s who has the best chance to come out on top.”
Demons coach Fred Heisel said the team has been working on coming out of the locker room into the third quarter with more intensity.
“The third quarter’s been a slow quarter for us all year long. We talked about it in practice last night, and again at half time today,” Heisel said. “Summit came out and played really tough defense, taking a lot of chances out on the wings and denying our passing lanes.
“We talked about exploiting that, and after Mitchell hit that first open shot the other guys on the team saw him heating up and decided to run the offense in a way that provided those open shots.”
By game’s end, Burt led all scorers with 20 points, including the five 3-pointers. Fellow senior John Iuele had 18, and senior Patrick Young added 11. Summit (4-6, 1-1) was led in scoring by Cameron Kalaf and Nazarie Poliuk, each with 12 points.
Heisel calls the post-holiday stretch the “second season,” which has everything to do with getting to the coveted “third season” — the playoffs.
“We have a team that experienced enough and who have been in these situations enough, that they know this how to attack in these situations,” Heisel said.
Glenwood Springs 51, Summit 32
The Summit Tigers stayed within pouncing distance of the host Demons in the first quarter, as Glenwood built a 15-10 lead. But Glenwood was able to slowly build on that, and was up 33-16 at the half before opening a commanding 20-point lead by late in the third.
“Coming off the game Saturday (a 33-22 win at Grand Junction), we felt like we dusted the rust off” from the holidays, Demons coach Rhonda Moser said.
“It all starts now, though. Conference play is super important for us to be able to play in the post season, and we have to take every game one step at a time,” she said.
The Lady Demons also stand at 8-3 overall and 1-0 in league, headed into another league matchup at Rifle on Friday.
Leading the Demons against Summit was senior Qwynn Massie with 14 points, but every Demon got on the board.
“I loved that it was such a great team basketball game,” Moser said. “Everyone scored, and everyone got some minutes tonight, and I thought we did a good job controlling pace of the game.”
Both Demons teams are at Rifle on Friday, girls at 6 p.m. and boys at 7:30.
Basalt basketball teams rolled by Coal Ridge in Western Slope League openers
The Basalt High School basketball teams opened 3A Western Slope League play Tuesday, with both squads falling well short of visiting Coal Ridge inside the BHS gymnasium. For the boys, there was plenty of good early but the inexperience cost them late. The girls struggled from the start, a disappointing step back after playing one of their best games in recent memory only last week.
CR BOYS 84, Basalt 48
Playing for the first time since Dec. 20 and with a slightly altered roster of younger athletes, the Longhorn boys came out swinging against the Titans. BHS led in the early moments of the game but had fallen behind 41-26 by halftime.
“We played a good first half,” first-year Basalt coach Clint Hunter told The Aspen Times. “They did a really nice job. I was really, really proud of them. They had an opportunity and I thought they took full advantage of it. Your first varsity experience is always nerve-wracking.”
Basalt hung tough well into the third quarter but a big run by Coal Ridge over the final few minutes led to the decisive final margin. Coal Ridge standout Austin Gerber led all players with 26 points, well above his already impressive 17.7 points per game the senior averaged coming in.
The Titans improved to 7-3 overall and 1-0 in WSL play. Coal Ridge has won five straight games.
“They are a very good program,” Hunter said of the team from New Castle. “It’s exciting to know that we’ll get there soon. Our guys are working hard and I’m excited for the progress we’ll continue to make.”
Sophomore Wish Moore led BHS with 14 points, while senior Brian Granados added 12 points. Basalt fell to 1-7 overall and 0-1 in WSL play. The Longhorns next head to Delta (3-5, 1-0) on Saturday.
CR GIRLS 63, Basalt 30
Last week, the Basalt girls won 68-40 over Battle Mountain, their best offensive performance since scoring 72 points back in December 2016. That same firepower was nowhere to be seen, at least early, against the Titans on Tuesday.
Coal Ridge jumped out to a 20-0 lead, a bucket by Basalt’s Zoe Vozick in the final seconds of the first quarter finally getting the home team on the scoreboard. The BHS offense got things going some in the second quarter, but the Titans still took a commanding 36-13 lead into the half.
“Maybe a little too much confidence after that win against Battle Mountain and now we just have to regroup,” second-year BHS coach Amy Contini told radio announcer Jim Williams after the game. “Sometimes all you have to do is just kind of laugh one off. Obviously we played probably the most horrendous first quarter of basketball I’ve ever seen us play, which is quite the opposite of what we played against Battle Mountain.”
Coal Ridge only outscored Basalt 27-17 in the second half, but the damage had already been done by then. The Titans were led by 17 points from senior Lyanna Nevarez, who came in only averaging 7.6 points per game in eight contests.
The Titans improved to 6-4 overall and 1-0 in WSL play.
Basalt fell to 3-3 overall and 0-1 in WSL play. No Longhorn reached double figures in scoring against Coal Ridge.
With a trip to Delta (5-3) coming Saturday, Contini is hoping for a bit more consistency from her players.
“It’s not doing it when you want to do it, it’s doing it when you need to do it, and we needed this win tonight,” Contini told Williams. “And the girls have to learn that lesson. And they will. We’ll bounce back for Delta. Hopefully we’ll have a better outing against Delta.”
Photo Essay: Appreciating the local ski mountain
On the Fly column: Next gen fly fishing
When it comes to the next generation of fly fishers, the Roaring Fork Valley is uniquely situated. There are four major rivers, a bunch of lakes and ponds, and plenty of anglers and guides who love to share their knowledge with young people. Nothing compares to seeing a child start to catch fish, understand the hatch, and tying the proper fly on by themselves. Young people often don’t bring their problems and egos to the river like their grown-up counterparts, and the joy they bring is quite contagious. Most kids don’t have bad fly fishing habits to break, so setting them on the right path is usually a cinch.
We sometimes wonder where the next Joan Wulff, Lefty Kreh or Tim Heng is going to spring up from, and I’m willing to bet she or he is right under our collective noses. These kids (and us older kids, too) have a lifetime’s worth of waters to explore in one of the most beautiful places in the country. How lucky is that? Most young people who are interested in this sport are just dying to learn, they just need a good neighbor, parent or any fishy and responsible adult to show them how we do what we do.
If you know a local youngster interested in fly fishing, there is a youth fly tying division in the fifth annual Iron Fly Competition at 4 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Tipsy Trout in Basalt. You can register your little fly tyer at www.roaringfork.org/events and the big kids start tying around 6 pm. You can also take your aspiring angler to your local fly shop — let them ask some questions, make a new friend, get some advice, rummage through the fly bins, or perhaps cast a rod. Shop gurus love meeting and encouraging the “next gen,” and hopefully we can all foster the next great ambassador of our sport together!
This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.