GLENWOOD SPRINGS - Playing two games in a single day is never easy, especially when the first one is against a five-time defending state champion.
Eagle Valley's boys basketball team proved up to the challenge on Saturday, taking down Class 3A powerhouse Faith Christian in the morning, 76-56, and then knocking off host Glenwood Springs in the evening, 55-43, to finish off the Demon Invitational with a flourish.
A 66-58 loss to Aspen on Friday night was the only setback of the weekend for last season's 4A Western Slope League co-champion Devils.
"That was an emotional victory this morning, a hard-fought battle," Eagle Valley coach Jim Bair said. "We were a little nervous about tonight, about the guys being able to bounce back. Playing two games in a day is always tough."
Behind a balanced offensive effort, the Devils (4-1) powered their way through the nightcap. Ryan Werner scored 14 points, with Travis Edgar contributing 12 and Samuel Lounsberry 11 to lift Eagle Valley, which jumped out to an early 9-3 lead.
The pesky Demons (1-3) kept it relatively close the rest of the night.
"We're a young basketball team," Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock said. "I thought we played great defense. Our effort on defense was awesome. The offensive end hurt us. We turned the ball too many times. When you turn the ball over that much, it's hard to beat a good team."
Jared Gambrel led Hitchcock's squad with 14 points. Grant Fegan chipped in with 10.
After Friday night's loss to Aspen, the Devils were determined to make a statement on Saturday.
"It was definitely rough, especially after that loss to Aspen," said Werner, a senior. "But we came out strong. We knew we could do it."
The same two teams will meet again on Friday in Glenwood Springs. It will be the 4A Slope opener for Eagle Valley.
Eagle Valley girls split on Saturday
Riding high after a 48-43 win over Faith Christian in the morning, Eagle Valley's girls kept it close against Glenwood Springs on Saturday night. But the host Demons mustered the firepower to fuel a 49-44 win over their 4A Slope rivals.
"It was good to get that win against Faith," Devils coach Sam Bartlett said. "I don't know how often the girls program at Eagle Valley has beat Faith. They were the returning 3A state champs. They lost a lot of good talent from last year."
And they did it down a starter in Madeline Lounsberry, who was busy taking her ACT test.
In her stead, Mariel Gutierrez poured in 16 points and Megan Asmussen finished with 14.
Against Glenwood with Lounsberry back in action, Gutierrez had another big game with 20 points. Taylor Martin added nine points and Lounsberry seven for the Devils.
Kenzie Nelson-Buehler's 17 points paced Glenwood.