RIFLE — Most of the one-and-done possessions the Eagle Valley boys basketball team had against the Rifle Bears didn’t have a positive result for the Devils on Tuesday. Most of Rifle’s one-and-done possessions helped it take a big lead and build on it.
Wyatt Robinson scored a game-high 15 points to go with a 13-point outing from Tanner Quick, and the Bears capitalized on the Eagle Valley turnovers they forced on their way to a 57-26 4A Slope victory at Rifle.
The victory helped the Bears (8-3 overall, 6-2 in the Slope) stay in the race for the league title. It also makes today’s home game against the rival Glenwood Springs Demons (12-3, 7-2) even that much bigger.
The Bears took advantage of their height advantage down low, with 6-foot-6 senior Quick drawing the attention of Eagle Valley’s zone defense. That opened up the inside-out game for the Bears, leaving Robinson open looks from the perimeter and Trenton Brown (eight points) opportunities to drive the lane and score.
Slater Sabo scored eight points and Travis Edgar added seven to pace the Devils (4-10, 2-6), who weren’t able to rally after falling behind 12-4 after one quarter. Rifle, however, wasn’t able to take control until halfway through the second quarter.
Eagle Valley only trailed 14-7 halfway through the second stanza. A layup from Quick with 3 minutes, 36 seconds left before halftime, quickly followed by a steal and layup from Brown, sparked a 10-2 run that gave the Bears a 24-9 lead with a little more than a minute remaining in the first half.
And the Bears kept building on the lead after halftime, as a 3-pointer from Tanner Rust, followed by layups from Clinton Farr and Luis Carreon, pushed Rifle’s lead to 46-21 at the end of the third quarter.
The Devils continue league play on Friday when it hosts Palisade.
Rifle 44, Eagle Valley 39
Chante Church scored 13 of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter — going 10-for-12 from the foul line in the stanza — to lead the Bears (5-6, 5-2) to their fifth victory in their past six games.
Rifle scored 16 fourth-quarter points — 13 coming from the free throw line — to help the Bears complete a rally from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter. Ashley Floyd scored eight points to pace the Devils (9-5, 5-3), who went up 29-18 after a pair of foul shots from Lauren Thorpe with 6:13 remaining in the third quarter capped an 11-0 Eagle Valley run.
That’s when Rifle’s defense buckled down, shutting the Devils out for the next 8:05. The Bears took advantage, too, scoring 15 unanswered points to take a 32-29 lead on a pair of foul shots from Church with 6:35 remaining. Thorpe snapped the Devils’ scoring skid with a layup to pull Eagle Valley within a point, but Rifle reeled off nine of its final 12 points from the charity stripe to keel its distance.
Eagle Valley also got six points from Thorpe, Megan Asmussen and Kylie Martin, who all helped the Devils take a 24-18 halftime lead.