EDWARDS - Everyone involved with Battle Mountain girls basketball is feeling a little lighter after Tuesday night's 55-23 win over Summit County.
And since that snapped a nine-game losing streak, well, it's completely understandable.
"It feels like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders," Huskies coach Vinny Cisneros said. "The girls have been so resilient. The old saying goes, 'Coaches lose games and players win games.' The girls played a great game."
And whatever the adage is, give yourself a W, Vinny.
Battle Mountain (2-9 overall and 2-4 in the 4A Slope) burst out to a 16-0 lead and never looked back. While this season has not gone as well as hoped for both Shrine Pass rivals, this was a particularly bitter pill for the Tigers (1-10, 0-7) and their head coach Dylan Hollingsworth.
"It's unacceptable," he said. "The way we played was unacceptable. Our attitude was unacceptable. We just can't play like that."
The Huskies, shed, at least temporarily, the slow starts that have plagued them this season. Battle Mountain's Michelle Rios, Logan Nash and Taylor Davidson all had field goals in the first quarter, staking the Huskies to a 9-0 lead after eight minutes.
Nash and Davidson struck again and then Ali Teague hit from beyond the arc for a 16-0 lead. Summit's Meg Heil broke up the run with a Tigers' basket with 6:24 left in the first half.
The Huskies kept coming, though. Elizabeth Olivas, who led all scorers with 11 points, knocked down her jumper, followed by a layup from Aileen Arreola and a trifecta from Iridian Reyes for a 23-4 advantage midway through the first quarter.
"Starting slow has been our nemesis all year long," Cisneros said. "I told the girls, challenged them not to wait until we were down by 20 (points) before playing with full intensity. They did that. They played like they were down, and built on that."
Of particular concern to Hollingsworth was his team's rebounding - or primarily the lack thereof.
"We got killed on the boards," he said. "We have to take boxing out seriously. We've got to rebound better or this is going to be a long season."
Hollingsworth's frustration peaked in the third quarter when he got a technical foul. In the strangest twist of the game, Olivas took the freebies and made them, but she was shooting in her own end. The referees realized the mistake, took the Huskies' points off the board and had her shoot at the Summit end. Unfortunately, she missed her second set of free throws.
Battle Mountain hosts Steamboat Springs Saturday at 2 p.m., while Summit has Delta at Farmer's Korner at 1 p.m. the same day.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.