Hot shooting sparks Eagle Valley to 83-40 win over Battle Mountain |

Hot shooting sparks Eagle Valley to 83-40 win over Battle Mountain

Jaramillo drills five first-half 3-pointers to lead Devils to rivalry win

Eagle Valley's Gunther Soltvedt charges the hoop against Battle Mountain on Monday in Edwards.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

Monday night’s I-70 rematch saw Eagle Valley play about as complete of a basketball game as a coach could ask for. Thirty-two minutes of great passing, hot shooting, and tough defense spearheaded the Devils’ 83-40 victory over Battle Mountain, completing the season sweep of their up valley rivals.

“It felt really good,” said Gunther Soltvedt, who had 15 points and celebrated his second of back-to-back 3-pointers late in the third quarter with an emotional raise of his three right-hand fingers. “Battle Mountain, it’s your rival, so it’s probably the most fun we could have.”

Max Jaramillo sparked Eagle Valley’s offense early, drilling five first-half 3-pointers and scoring 17 of his 20 points in the first two quarters.

“I was open, so I just shot, but it felt pretty good,” Jaramillo said. “It was good to do it against Battle Mountain, I’ll just say that.”

As hot as Jaramillo was to open the game — he nailed three of his triples in the first eight minutes — the Huskies were ready to run with their favored opponents from downvalley. The score was 19-18 Eagle Valley after one and 33-29 with 1:40 remaining in the first half. Eventually, the Devils, who entered the game with an 8-9 overall record and 2-0 league mark, wore them down, stretching the lead to 41-30 at the break.

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“I think when it came down to it, we’re 16 guys deep that are skilled,” added coach Justin Brandt. “They hung with us for a quarter, barely hang on through two and then the floodgates broke open.”

Eagle Valley’s Maximus Mayne Jaramillo looks for an open player to pass against Battle Mountain Monday in Edwards.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

If the identity of the Devils is 3-point shooting, extra credit should be given to the squad after a sterling defensive effort in the third. The Huskies only managed eight points in the entire period and would muster just 10 in the whole second half.

“They didn’t handle pressure well,” Brandt said. “In the second half, we went all in.”

Meanwhile, the scoring shifted to the hand of the senior Soltvedt, who stroked those back-to-back threes to make it 57-33. Then, the guard received a full-court pass from Branden Villalobos and converted the old-fashioned 3-point play with 1:45 to go.

“They were shooting with confidence tonight,” Brandt said of Jaramillo and Soltvedt. “And I love it because none of their shots were forced. They were creating for each other. They were on balance, in rhythm, in range — there was never a shot that I was like, ‘that was a bad shot.'”

Battle Mountain’s Porter Middaugh drives to the hoop against Eagle Valley Monday in Edwards.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

Soltvedt’s hustle, combined with the quick hands and tough defensive pressure shown by the all of boys in those new flashy black Jordan brand jerseys elicited the loudest approval from the full visiting student section.

With 2:55 to go, the Devils had perfectly doubled the Huskies point total, leading 80-40, well on their way to bringing their overall record to .500 and improving their league mark to 3-0. Then, just another sign the Devils were having one of those perfect nights, Parker French nailed a long, buzzer-beating three to finish things off.

Even within the big victory, coaches and players found a few things they could improve upon. Brandt would like to see a little more inside-out action.

“Our post players were getting a lot of offensive rebounds, but when we kick out, that inside look immediately was there and we weren’t looking inside,” he said. Soltvedt knows the dreaded close-out and box-out drills might be in store for the next two days of practice, where the team will be preparing to take on league-leading Glenwood Springs (12-7). Jaramillo believes there is more to be had with the trap defense, but players need to be quicker to rotate.

“We have two days of practice for Glenwood, and they’re going to be the toughest team we’ve played so far this year,” he said. “We’ve got to get our stuff together, have some fun and kick some butt on Thursday.”

Eagle Valley’s Hugo Garcia drives to the hoop against Battle Mountain Monday in Edwards.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

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