Coal Ridge falls to Basalt
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PALISADE ” By now, Coal Ridge knew what to expect from Class 3A Western Slope League opponent Basalt.
The Titans knew the Longhorns would push the ball up and down the floor at a frenetic pace.
But that didn’t make them any easier to stop in Friday’s Class 3A District 2 girls basketball semifinal at Palisade High School, as Basalt rolled to a 73-49 win and moved into today’s final with Olathe.
A quick 3-pointer by Emily Peetz and bucket by Kathryne Fitzpatrick put the Longhorns up 5-0 at the start, and it was off to the races from there as they took a lead of 17-8 after one quarter and 38-19 at halftime.
Basalt (17-3) forced turnovers in flurries, scoring 25 first-half takeaways that led to
countless easy baskets.
Coal Ridge (11-9) looked fluttered and unaccustomed to such a speed of play, something the Titans improved on in the second half.
“We had a lot of turnovers,” Coal Ridge assistant coach Damon Martinez said, “a lot of unforced errors. We wanted to come out better than we did.”
Despite adjusting to the pace in the second half, Basalt came up with a few too many big shots for the Titans to chip away.
Four Longhorns reached double figures in scoring, led by Peetz with 20, Fitzpatrick and Melissa Stewart with 15 apiece and Dayne Toney with 14.
Peetz stepped up countless times with dagger shots, her four 3-pointers the prime examples. Two of those came in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we came out better in the second half,” Martinez said of his Titans. “They just hit some big 3s.”
Morgan Jessup scored 12 points to lead the Titans, who by virtue of having a top-four district tourney finish locked up, will make the state tournament regardless of what happens in Saturday’s third-place game against Hotchkiss. Sam Wilson finished with nine points and Matraisa Beecraft and Brianna Rhodes had eight apiece.
For Coal Ridge, a program in just its third year and first year under head coach Rick Schmitz, having the next playoff step already in the bag is an accomplishment.
Martinez was glad to see a healthy contingent of Titan fans making the trip to Palisade for the game, and to see Coal Ridge show life in the second half.
“I thought our girls played tougher in the second half, the whole team,” he said. “We had many fans here cheering for us. We’re starting to build a tradition. Basalt, they’ve been in big games like this for years. It’s a big thing our whole school coming up here and supporting our team. We just need to keep building.”
For Basalt, last year’s Class 3A state runner-up, districts is just the start of what they hopes is another state-title push.
“We’ve got to keep our intensity,” Longhorns coach Carolyn Compton said. “Right now, we’re trying not to have any lulls. We just have to keep doing the things we’ve been doing.”
Olathe edges Hotchkiss in final second
Two free throws by Breanna Brew with 0.3 seconds remaining lifted Olathe to a thrilling 47-46 victory over Hotchkiss in Friday’s other girls semifinal.
Olathe, the tourney’s sixth seed, now has two district tourney upsets under its belt, as the Bulldogs were the second seed. The Pirates also knocked off No. 3 Roaring Fork in the quarterfinals.
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