Coal Ridge boys outgun Longhorns |

Coal Ridge boys outgun Longhorns

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Jim Ryan Special to the Post IndependentBasalt's Dylan Rakowski scores on a layup as Coal Ridge's Tyler Guettler defends.

BASALT, Colorado – Basalt boys basketball coach Shane Vetter called the effort encouraging. His squad’s search for its first win continues, however.

The Longhorns matched baskets with visiting Coal Ridge during an exciting opening quarter Tuesday night. Cold shooting and untimely turnovers cost the hosts from there, however. Basalt trailed by 15 at the break, struggled to trim its deficit down the stretch and fell, 53-33.

“I think we [took a big step] today and got some confidence,” Vetter said. “We turned the corner as far as defense … [but we shot] 22 percent on 2-pointers. We had a good 12 shots that just rimmed out again – I swear we have the curse of the rim-out this season.”

That was not the case early Tuesday, as the Longhorns (0-11 overall, 0-6 in the 3A Western Slope League) hung right with the favored Titans. Dylan Rakowski slipped past the defense and scored in transition and drained a long 3-pointer early on.

After Coal Ridge’s Robby Moore pulled down an offensive board and scored, guard Sean Ryan answered with a 3 from the wing to pull Basalt to within one with about three minutes remaining in the opening quarter. The Longhorns would pull no closer; Cody Walls scored in transition, then, after an untimely Basalt turnover, Alec Herrera converted from behind the arc, stretching the Titans’ advantage to six and forcing a Basalt timeout at the 1 minute, 46 second mark.

Coal Ridge opened the second quarter with a 10-0 spurt to amass a 31-14 lead. The Longhorns could muster just one field goal in the quarter. At one point, they went scoreless for 7:20.

Those offensive struggles continued in the second half. Basalt pulled to within 15 in the fourth quarter, but never seriously threatened the Titans.

Vetter largely was not concerned with the final tally afterward, however.

“It’s been a process, and these guys have been through a lot in the last week,” Vetter said. “We’ve had some changes. … We know what doesn’t work, so now we have to figure out what does.

“Honestly, if everybody knew the inside story about what’s going on, that was a win. After the Aspen loss, which was a humbling experience, I’m glad to have something to build on and move forward. … The season starts now, and it’s about time.”

Coal Ridge raced out to a commanding 18-4 lead after the opening quarter Tuesday in Basalt. The Longhorns could not recover.

Three different players scored nine or more points for the Titans, who rolled to a 52-27 victory, handing Basalt its sixth straight loss and 11th in 12 games this season.

“We had a good start,” said Coal Ridge head coach Rick Schmitz, whose squad improved to 7-5 overall and 4-2 in the 3A Western Slope. “We created some turnovers, got some transition baskets and that got us going.”

Five different Titans scored during a dominant first quarter in which the visitors utilized smothering defensive pressure to fluster the undersized Longhorns. That trend continued in the second, as Coal Ridge jumped out to a 28-4 advantage. It led by 22 at halftime.

Basalt was outscored by just three during a sluggish second half.

“I took away from this game that Basalt outhustled and outplayed us in the second. We’ve got some work to do,” Schmitz said.

“I told our guys I’m glad we came out on the good side of things. We’ve got to play a full game. We’ve got to take care of the ball and have to rebound better. Those two things are big for us.”

Allie Ehlers finished with 12 points, Ciara Chacon controlled the paint and chipped in with 10 and Amanda Wenzel added nine for the Titans.

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