EDWARDS — In something that fell somewhere between a wrestling meet and UFC smack down, Eagle Valley boys basketball came away with a 50-42 win over Battle Mountain for a season sweep of its archrivals.
The Devils snapped a seven-game losing streak, while the Huskies continued a gloomy season with their 11th straight loss.
“It’s good to get one in,” Devils coach Jim Bair said. “Battle Mountain’s an in-county rivalry. The crowds are good. It was a fun atmosphere. I’m proud of my guys. That’s a game where your emotions can get the best of you. Our kids kept their composure.”
The Huskies took the lead, 30-29, early in the fourth quarter with Jerry Carrazco hitting a layup from an incredible angle.
Eagle Valley’s Noah Ejnes countered. The Huskies’ Amadou Dath answered with two free throws.
Lead For Good
The Devils’ Arturo Loera gave his team the lead for good at 33-32 with 5:46 to go with a jumper.
Ejnes and Battle Mountain’s Owen Riley traded buckets, followed by a clutch layup by Eagle Valley’s Turner Glissman. The Devils’ Travis Edgar, who had a game-high 16 points, canned a free throw to nudge Eagle Valley out to a 39-34 lead.
And then, Battle Mountain went cold from the line. The Huskies missed the front end of two 1-and-1s from free throw line.
“We just have a passion for the game,” Battle Mountain’s Mizriam Olivas. “We have to work on the fundamentals. We have to come out and play the game hard.”
Ejnes, who had 11 points for the Devils, iced the game, going 4-for-4 from the line.
Eagle Valley upped its mark to 5-12 overall and 3-8 in the Slope, while the Huskies fell to 4-12 and 0-10.
Coach Bair thinks that the Devils still have a shot at the wild-card spot at districts, but it’s going to take some big performances from his squad down the stretch, starting with a home game against Rifle on Saturday.
“They’re a good basketball team. We’re going to work on some things tomorrow. … If we can bump of one of these teams — we play three good teams — we might just get enough from (the) maxpreps(.com rankings) to see what happens.”
Devils girls stay in district hunt
Welcome to February, when nothing comes easily.
The Eagle Valley girls basketball team had to scratch, claw and fight its way to a 50-33 win over a determined Battle Mountain squad.
“We started out the game OK, but it seemed like we got a little too comfortable,” Devils coach Sam Bartlett said. “We knew Battle Mountain was going to come out hard against us. They’re always going to give us their best shot.”
Both teams are in a marathon of games this week with makeups from this past week’s snow days being smashed into the schedule.
“Now, hopefully, it’s going to be an every-other-game things,” Bartlett joked. “We came out flat against Palisade (on Monday). We came out fired up against Delta (on Tuesday). We were a little flat tonight, so, hopefully we’ll get fired up for Senior Day against Rifle (on Saturday).”
And, thus, Eagle Valley (11-6 overall and 7-4 in the Slope) stayed in contention for the district tournament in Grand Junction later this month.
The Devils led just 31-25 after three quarter before Lauren Thorpe and Megan Asmussen started the fourth quarter with baskets. Taylor Martin extended the lead to a 38-25 midway through the fourth as Eagle Valley finally pulled away.
“I thought the effort tonight was second-to-none for this season,” said Huskies coach Vinny Cisneros, whose team fell to 4-11 and 1-8. “We had a rough road trip last night (to Palisade) and we got back late. I was proud of the way we came out and responded.”
Eagle Valley jumped out to a 10-2 during the first quarter as Thorpe and Martin had buckets. A 3 from Mariel Gutierrez capped that run. Martin led the Devils with 11 and Gutierrez had nine. Michelle Carbajal also had a big game energizing the team.
Even though the Huskies didn’t have a field goal until there was 5:58 left in the first have, they rallied impressively. Moe Stevens started an 11-0 run in the second, followed by score by Maricruz Cornelio, a 3 from Ali Teague, and an Elizabeth Olivas layup.
Mariel Gutierrez finished the half with a shot from downtown, giving the Devils a 23-18 lead at the break.
Eagle Valley’s teams host Rifle on Saturday, while Battle Mountain is at Glenwood Springs.