Seniors key to ‘Horns state semifinal run |

Seniors key to ‘Horns state semifinal run

Phil Sandoval

A fourth-place finish in the Class 3A state tournament takes none of the luster away from what the Basalt High School girls accomplished during the 2002-03 basketball season.

For the third year in a row, the Longhorns won the 3A Western Slope League regular-season championship and the District 2 tournament. The Longhorns marked a 22-5 record this season.

Basalt’s outstanding record earned the team the No. 5 seed heading into the 32-team state tournament.

After wrapping up the district crown with a 69-57 win over neighboring rival Roaring Fork of Carbondale March 1, the Longhorns continued their post-season dominance in the opening rounds of the state playoffs last week.

Playing in front of a large home crowd at the “Big House,” the ‘Horns defeated Denver Christian and Kent Denver to advance to the 3A quarterfinals against Estes Park at Widefield High School in Colorado Springs.

Basalt powered past the Bobcats from the Patriot League, 64-49, to face No. 1 seed Machebeuf, where the Longhorns fell 41-40 to the eventual 2002-03 state champions.

“We did fabulous. All the Denver schools didn’t expect that kind of a game from a Western Slope team. I couldn’t be prouder,” said coach Debbie Alcorta.

The coach said the team’s three seniors, Mariah Mulcahy, March Thompson and Mackenzie Holmes, played pivotal roles in the program’s rise.

“We had 10 players on the freshman team when (that group) started in the program, and they were the only three players who stuck it out. They will be missed,” Alcorta said.

Mulcahy repeated as an all-league selection. Holmes earned honorable mention.

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