Strong first quarter lifts Gunnison girls

PHOTO BY DANIELLE STOMBERG—Gunnison High’s Jac Lavato takes one to the basket during Saturday’s game against Basalt high school for the 3A playoffs in Palisade.

The Gunnison High School girls basketball team started off quickly and never looked back.

The Cowboys scored the first 12 points of the game Saturday en route to a 57-34 win over Basalt in the Class 3A Western Slope League district championship at Palisade High School. 

The Longhorns cut to lead to eight, 26-18 at halftime, before the Cowboys pulled away in the second half. The Longhorns were led by Ashley Soucie, who scored a game-high 12 points.

Three players scored in double figures for the Cowboys, while Soucie was the only Basalt player to crack double figures.

Cowboy coach Kevin Mickelson was proud to see his team’s goal come to fruition.

“It’s a wonderful feeling, there is nothing better than a great plan that comes together,” Mickelson said. “That’s a four-year plan in the works. We have a pretty good core of five seniors that worked their tails off to get to this point.”

Mickelson also praised the defensive effort by the Cowboys.

“That’s our MO, we get down and play defense,” he said. “We had some success today, and some success with that all season.”

Mickelson also thinks the win can lead to bigger things in the future, however the next level will be different.

“Anytime you’re coming off wins, I guess it is our eighth in a row, it builds momentum,” he said.

“However, regionals are a different level; different emotions.”

Jac Lovato, who had a team-high 16 points for the Cowboys, believed the victory was because of the strong start.

“I think the past two nights, both games we were able to come out hot,” Lovato said. “We were able to get on a run that paced the rest of the game.”

Another key to the win was the Cowboys’ 21-of-24 performance at the free-throw line, compared to 7 of 11 for the Longhorns.

Both teams move on to the Class 3A regional tournament, with the brackets being announced later.

Tim Adams/


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