GRAND JUNCTION - There's just no nice way of putting it - it was a bad day at districts for anybody from Eagle County.
The Eagle Valley girls and Battle Mountain boys basketball teams are done for the year after winless stints in Grand Junction, while the Eagle Valley boys are still in state, but not exactly riding a crest of momentum.
The Devils boys fell to Rifle, 63-36, Saturday at Colorado Mesa University. This was actually a close game until the Bears made a key basket at the buzzer of the first half. Rifle went on a 28-2 run to start the second half, and the Devils finished fourth at the tournament.
While the Bears doubtless win the 4A Slope's unofficial award of "Most Improved Team," a troubling fact is that the Devils (15-7) are just 4-4 in February, and heading into the state tournament on a two-game slide.
"I've rode the same guys hard for three games (at the district tournament), and we looked like it," Devils coach Jim Bair said. "We got tired. We need to rest up, refocus and have a couple of days of good practice. I've got good kids and they'll bounce back."
The state bracket comes out today on chsaa.org, and the Devils will play Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Eagle Valley girls basketball fell to Steamboat Springs, 45-27. The Devils finish the season 12-11. The Devils' demise was a lack of offense down the stretch.
And Battle Mountain closed out with a 62-44 loss to Glenwood Springs, the Huskies' nemesis all season. Senior Joe LyBarger did have a big day in his finale with 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.