‘Horns claim district crown

Phil Sandoval

PALISADE – The formula for winning basketball games is simple. The execution is the tough part.

On Saturday afternoon Basalt held the upper hand in execution against Roaring Fork.

The Rams made just 30 percent of their shots from the floor (22-of-73), while Basalt hit 41 percent of its shots. The difference earned the Longhorns their third straight girls Class 3A District 2 championship.

Basalt had some trouble early in its 69-57 win over its valley rivals, but after the two teams slugged it out for supremacy in the first quarter, the Longhorns put the game on ice in the second period.

With Roaring Fork up by four, the ‘Horns mounted a 9-2 run in the opening three minutes of the frame to pull away.

“We missed a ton of shots,” said Roaring Fork Jacky Gaddis. “That was our problem. We have to convert the easy ones, and that hasn’t been happening for us.”

Mariah Mulcahy scored six of the nine points which gave Basalt a 29-24 lead. The senior finished with 21 points.

The Longhorns outscored Roaring Fork 21-10 in the second period to gain a seven-point advantage at halftime.

“We wanted to go out and take control,” said Basalt coach Debbie Alcorta. “That’s what we talked about as a team goal before the game. There was no doubt about it that that’s what we wanted to do.”

Junior Tarn Udall was the only consistent scorer for Roaring Fork. The center had 10 at the half, and 20 on the afternoon.

In the second half Alcorta had a surprise for her familiar opponent.

The coach shifted her team to a three-quarter zone defensive press. The unanticipated defense bothered Roaring Fork into taking rushed or poor shots.

Basalt turned the Rams’ shooting woes into a bigger lead.

Crown: see page 13

In the third quarter, Roaring Fork hit on 3-of-21 shots for nine points. In one 60-second binge, Basalt scored two baskets, hit a couple of free throws and took a 53-39 at the end of the quarter.

Autumn Caughern, who scored 24 points, along with Brittany Pollock’s back-to-back field goals put Basalt ahead by 19 with just over 5 minutes left.

Roaring Fork had a nice run of its own to get within eight as Brie Bath drained a trey, along with a two-pointer. Udall and freshman Ashley Jensen scored field goals, but with 1:10 left after Mulcahy hit the final basket, it was too late for the Rams to make a serious comeback.

Lauren Redfern reached double digits for Basalt with 10 points. Bath and Carly Velasquez notched 13 and 11, respectively, for Roaring Fork.

Basalt and Roaring Fork advance to the regional round of the Class 3A playoffs. Other District 2 qualifiers include Cedaredge, Aspen and Eagle Valley.

By winning the district championship Basalt is assured of a home game. In Roaring Fork’s case, it’s a wait-and-see proposition.

“The girls are starting to peak and come together,” Alcorta said. “This group is hungry and we’re ready to take it to the next level.”

Playoff pairings, according to the Colorado High School Activities Association, are scheduled to be released Sunday afternoon.

Roaring Fork 69, Basalt 57

Roaring Fork 20 10 9 18 -57

Basalt 16 21 16 16-69

ROARING FORK – Tarn Udall 9 2-6 20, Laura Wright 1 1-3 3, Jessi Rochel 1 2-2 4, Carly Velasquez 3 5-6 11, Brie Bath 5 2-2 13, Ashley Jensen 3 0-0 6, Megan Ziegel 0 0-0 0. Totals – 22 12-19 57.

BASALT – Ashley Eaton 0 0-0 0, Makenzie Holmes 2 0-0 4, Brittany Pollock 3 1-2 7, Autumn Caughern 10 1-2 24, Deanna Spracher 0 0-0 0, March Thompson 0 0-0 0, Mariah Mulcahy 8 5-5 21, Rochelle Moebius 1 1-3 3, Amanda Schmidt 0 0-0 0, Lauren Redfern 5 0-0 10 Lindsay Soucie 0 0-0 0. Totals – 29 8-12 69.

3-Pointers – Bath; Caughern 3. Fouled Out – None. Total Fouls – RF-12, B-14 Technicals – None.

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