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Battle Mountain basketball wins thriller

Girls rally for win

Gaby Caballero and Battle Mountain girls basketball rally for a dramatic 47-44 win over Palisade on Friday night in Edwards.
Mort Mulliken | Special to the Daily

EDWARDS — It just can’t be the Gaby Caby Show.

A year after Battle Mountain girls basketball won its first Slope title since 1993, everybody and their sister know about the Huskies’ Gabriela Caballero. The league and the state will be watching Battle Mountain’s No. 14.

And that’s what made the Huskies’ 47-44 win over Palisade on Friday night in the league opener for both teams so great.

Gianna Carroll sank two free throws, which ended up being the game-winners, and many others made large contributions in the Huskies’ comeback against the Bulldogs.

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Just after Carroll gave Battle Mountain (3-4 overall, 1-0 in the Slope) the lead Maggie Skidmore came down with a gigantic rebound after Palisade missed two free throws. With 13.9 seconds left, Mia Bettis sank two free throws to ice it.

Assistant coach Jim Schuppler was so pumped as timeouts were called that we’re proud to report he didn’t tackle anyone out on the court.

“It’s really nice to know that any of the girls on the bench can go in there and fill in at any time,” Battle Mountain coach Kindi Backstrom said.

With Caballero playing with four fouls in the last period, the Huskies had to diversify. (Credit Caballero for playing smartly.) Battle Mountain was down by as many as five points before Carroll hit a 3 and had the moment of the night.

After she hither bucket, she pumped her arms and had an expression on her face which said, “Holy cow, I made that shot.”

Alden Pennington’s three pulled the Huskies within 44-42, and Caballero had a monster steal that eventually set up Carroll’s free throws.

“It’s going to be big with momentum,” Backstrom said. “It’s always rough coming off the break. You don’t know how the team is coming together. The team came together, and that’s our word for the season.”

Battle Mountain’s girls host Fruita Monument today.

Bulldogs too much for Huskies boys

Battle Mountain boys basketball’s 68-44 loss to Palisade on Friday night was one of those duds one expects after the holiday break.

The only problem is that Battle Mountain had already returned to action last weekend with a big win at Grand Junction Central. There was no reason for rust, making it a thoroughly frustrating evening.

If there is a positive, this will be a hacked up bunch that will be playing at No. 2-ranked Mead today.

“Let’s hope so,” Huskies coach Philip Tronsure said. “I would hope so. They just outworked us. We talked about their physicality and we saw their physicality. We talked about how hard they work on the offensive end, and they ended up with not just one, but two or three shots. I don’t know what their shooting percentage was, but it was pretty high.

“We’re going to see what kind of character we have. We’re getting on the bus in 12 hours. We’re jumping on the bus to Mead and seeing what character we have.”

Liam McKenny spent a good portion of the second and third periods on the bench with fouls. Owen Ruotolo wasn’t far behind him. It was, in general, an evening that should never be spoken of again, except for motivational purposes.


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