No. 1 Basalt girls advance |

No. 1 Basalt girls advance

BASALT – Nine different players scored as the Basalt girls basketball team guaranteed itself a spot in the state tourney with a 72-32 victory over Gunnison in the first round of the District 2 tournament Tuesday night at the Big House.

Mariah Mulcahy led the 3A Western Slope League champion and two-time defending district champion Longhorns (17-3) with 18 points, while Lauren Redfern and Autumn Caughern chipped in 15 and 11 points, respectively. All three point totals came in limited minutes on the court, which was the idea, according to head coach Debbie Alcorta.

“We took the opportunity to play all the girls and to work on things we might need down the road,” Alcorta said.

One of the focal points for the game was working on the matchup zone defense, particularly with players on the court who aren’t part of the typical starting five. And the Basalt players likely gained some confidence against Gunnison.

The Longhorns scored the game’s first 13 points, holding the Cowboys without a point for the first 6 minutes, 30 seconds of the contest.

Gunnison (2-17) mounted a rally in the second quarter to draw within three points twice, but the Longhorns went on a 14-5 run to close the half with a 31-19 advantage.

Shalee Keener, who paced Gunnison with 20 points, netted the first basket of the second half to cut the lead to 10 points, but it was as close as the Cowboys would get for the remainder of the game.

Basalt led 45-30 at the end of the third quarter.

In the final frame the Longhorns closed out the game with a dominating performance on both sides of the ball, outscoring Gunnison 27-2 in the quarter.

With the top five seeds qualifying for the regional round of the state tournament, Basalt can finish no lower than fourth in the double-elimination tournament.

Basalt faces No. 4-seed Aspen (13-7) on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Palisade High School.

On Tuesday, the Skiers edged past Eagle Valley, 45-41. Gunnison faces Eagle Valley in the consolation bracket.

Tipoff for that game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

Oddly enough, Alcorta prefers Aspen – the only WSL team to defeat the Longhorns this season – as an opponent.

“I would love to play Aspen,” Alcorta said. “I want to play them because I want to play the best teams possible.

“I want to play a good opponent,” she added. “It strengthens our program, their program and basketball in the entire valley.”

Basalt 72, Gunnison 32

Gunnison 4 15 11 2-32

Basalt 13 18 14 27-72

GUNNISON – Jessica Fairless 1 0-0 2, Julie Wattier 0 0-0 0, Kyla Seidel 0 0-0 0, Casey Noone 0 0-0 0, Shalee Keener 7 5-7 20, Brittney Cole 1 0-0 2, Kacey Wojdakowski 0 0-0 0, Aryssa Fairless 1 0-0 2, Lisa Goldman 0 0-0 0, Stevie Henkel 2 0-0 4, Cate MacAllister 0 0-0 0, Lara Garren 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 5-7 32.

BASALT – Ashley Eaton 1 0-2 2, Makenzie Holmes 2 1-2 5, Brittany Pollock 2 0-0 4, Autumn Caughern 4 2-2 11, Deanna Spracher 3 0-0 6, Lindsey Soucie 0 0-0 0, March Thompson 0 0-0 0, Mariah Mulcahy 7 2-3 18, Rochelle Moebius 2 1-2 5, Amanda Schmidt 3 0-0 6, Allison Brumet 0 0-0 0, Lauren Redfern 6 3-4 15. Totals 30 9-15 72.

3-pointers – Keener; Caughern, Mulcahy 2. Total fouls – Gunnison 12, Basalt 10. Fouled out – Cole. Technicals – none.

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