‘Horns win fourth straight title
GSPI Sports Editor
CARBONDALE ” For the four Basalt High School seniors, it’s a perfect four-for-four basketball career.
The Longhorns girls basketball team won its fourth consecutive Class 3A Western Slope League title Friday night with a 59-51 victory over rival Roaring Fork in a battle of top-10 squads.
But, unlike the first meeting between the two teams, it wasn’t the Longhorn upperclassmen who made the difference. It was a sophomore who stepped up.
With senior post Lauren Redfern ” who scored 34 points in the first meeting ” in foul trouble the entire game, sophomore backup Lindsey Soucie had what she describes as her best game of the season.
“I was really nervous, but I knew I had to step up,” Soucie said. “I was just boxing out and squaring up and making sure I was open.”
Soucie finished with 12 points, eight of which came in the second half. Perhaps more important, she pulled down nine rebounds in the contest.
“In the first game against Roaring Fork we had four main scorers,” said Redfern, who picked up two fouls in the first 1:40. “This game our sophomore stepped up big time and everyone played real well as a team.
“We definitely gave the game ball to Lindsey Soucie.”
The loss was just the second of the season for the Roaring Fork (12-2 Western Slope League, 17-2 overall), with both coming against the Longhorns. Basalt improves to 13-1 (16-3).
The Rams opened the contest with all the momentum and jumped out to a 10-2 lead.
The Longhorns rallied to cut the lead to 19-12 and point guard Deanna Spracher’s trey at the end of a quarter, along with some Rams’ turnovers, sparked a 9-2 run by Basalt to pull to 21-18 early in the second.
Spracher finished the night with 15 points, six assists and six steals.
Roaring Fork’s Tarn Udall kept Basalt at bay through the second quarter and into the third. The Rams’ lone senior was the only Roaring Fork player to score in the second quarter and through the first four minutes of the third, stringing together nine straight points.
Udall had her normal outstanding showing on senior night with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but Udall couldn’t hold off the Longhorns by herself.
Redfern scored eight straight Basalt hoops to open the third quarter and gave the Longhorns their first lead of the game with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
The teams traded the lead four more times before Basalt went on a 9-0 run for a 43-39 lead at the end of the frame.
Roaring Fork pulled within two points three times early in the fourth, but couldn’t break through for the lead again.
“I just know it doesn’t have to do with skill level,” said Jacky Gaddis, who hasn’t beaten the Longhorns in her three years as head coach at Roaring Fork. “They have a mental edge.
“But the beautiful thing is we have a shot at them again.”
The two teams could very well see each other next weekend in the district tournament title game. Basalt and Roaring Fork have the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively.
“In terms of getting home games (for the regional rounds of state) we’re going to have to beat Basalt,” Udall said. “We’re playing hard and can’t get down. We’re not planning on ending the season any time soon.”
Roaring Fork hosts Olathe (3-11, 4-15) Tuesday night in the first round of the district tournament, while Basalt hosts Gunnison (1-13, 2-17).
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.