Battle Mountain girls basketball wins first 4A playoff game, 51-48 against Harrison | VailDaily.com

Battle Mountain girls basketball wins first 4A playoff game, 51-48 against Harrison

Huskies hold on against Harrison, 51-48

After winning its first league title since 1993, the Battle Mountain Huskies girls basketball team keeps it rolling with a playoff win against Harrison.
Mort Mulliken | Special to the Daily

EDWARDS — The Huskies girls basketball team continues to make history with its first 4A playoff win on Tuesday night against Harrison, 51-48, following its first league title since 1993.

“To win a playoff game on our home court with that crowd is what I like to call wicked awesome,” said senior captain Eleanor Sheahan.

Wins against Glenwood Springs and Eagle Valley this year won’t compare to this first playoff win for Battle Mountain in over two decades.

“Congratulations, we’re making history,” coach Kindi Backstrom told her team immediately following the game, before re-entering the gym to a raucous home crowd and a standing ovation.

Battle Mountain next plays at Montrose on Friday with the win.

-“This is crazy. We’re making history, which is insane,” Sheahan said. “Our goal was the gold banner for league champs and we got that one, and now we’re just going to keep going and face Montrose.”

‘Right time of the season’

The Panthers made it through the snow on Tuesday from Colorado Springs, where Harrison was 10-13 overall and 8-8 in the 4A Colorado Springs Metro, coming in with the No. 38 seed.

The Huskies entered the game for the first time since 1993 as the league champion of the Western Slope, 14-8 overall and 10-2 in the 4A Slope.

Battle Mountain was able to hold off the Panthers in a back-and-forth game thanks to its depth, keeping a level head and timely shooting from beyond the arc.

Sophomore Gabby Caballero helped fire up the gym in the second quarter with a 3-pointer from Steph Curry-range, tying the game at 15.

She was forced to leave the game early in the second half, though, after a neck injury going after a loose ball.

“She’s one of our main players, so that was a tough one to see go down,” Backstrom said.

But the Huskies kept going, with help from freshmen through seniors.

Seniors Audrey Teague, Claire Krueger, and Sheahan helped lead the Huskies, and sophomore Alden Pennington came through with some clutch 3s from the corner, showing real promise from the perimeter and as a passer.

“Alden has really stepped up and peaked for us at the right time of the season,” Backstrom said. “She’s knocking down those 3s for us.”

Sophomore Ariana Lopez helped at the point guard position after Caballero went down, providing solid defense.

In a game that could have gone either way, Sheahan took an offensive charge with two minutes left and the Huskies ahead by one point. On the ensuing Huskies possession, Sheahan served up Pennington in her corner for another 3 and a 49-45 lead.

Missed free throws almost cost the Huskies down the line, but no one will remember those, just the first playoff win in maybe 23 years.

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.