EDWARDS - It just wasn't a good day for Battle Mountain basketball.
Coach Tom Padilla's mother, Lucia, died Thursday, and was not with the team Friday. Of lesser importance, league-title contender Delta rolled into Edwards and downed the Huskies, 76-56.
Assistant coaches Ramon Montoya and Steve Miller filled in for Padilla.
"I think they were mentally ready," Montoya said. "They wanted to play hard for coach Padilla. Obviously, it was different. They were looking to the sideline for him. They missed the leadership from Tom."
The key category for Friday's game was rebounding. Delta (9-5 overall and 7-2 in the 4A Slope) thumped Battle Mountain (7-7 and 3-6) in that phase of the game. Already a powerful offensive team, the Panthers had multiple shooting opportunities from close range and were more than happy to run coming off a defensive clear.
"Rebounding killed us," Montoya said. "We talked about that after the game. I don't know what the ratio was, but it was ridiculous."
Delta darted out to a 16-4 lead with 1:40 left in the first quarter, and ripped off a 16-0 run in the second quarter to salt it away.
Douglas Hawkins led a balanced Panthers' attack with 13 points, while Chris Black (11) and Jorge Olivas (10) were both in double-digits. Alex Banegas had a big night for Battle Mountain with 18 points.
Panthers race by Lady Huskies
She is really graduating.
We mean it. No fooling. For real.
Delta's Skylyn Webb has made a habit of destroying the Battle Mountain, and the rest of the Slope for that matter, for the last few years. She's one of those athletes who seems like she should be halfway through her college career, if not in graduate school by now. But she is a senior, and graduating, and all her opponents will likely send her off with a party to make sure.
Webb dropped 23 points Friday night in Delta's 73-24 win over the rather beleaguered Huskies in Edwards.
The Panthers at 11-4 and 9-0 seem intent on running away from the league pack. Delta did so against Battle Mountain Friday. The Huskies' Abby Varela drained a jumper to cut the Panthers' lead to 8-3 with 3:58 left in the first quarter. The Panthers scored the next 30 points, and led the Huskies, 42-5, at the half.
In fairness to the Huskies (2-12, 2-7), the Panthers are the class of the Slope. Two games up on Eagle Valley, they play today in Gypsum at 12:30 p.m., Delta passed the ball extremely well and had good looks at the basket all night.
In addition to Webb, Delta had 18 points from Callie Gafford. Taylor Davidson led the Huskies with 10 points.
Both Battle Mountain squads host Palisade today at 1 and 2:30 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.