Montrose sweeps Eagle Valley basketball
Indians too much for Devils
GYPSUM — Welcome to Mission Not Impossible.
Your mission, should you chose to accept it, and you have no choice, is to win as an undersized basketball team. And you all can argue who gets to play Peter Graves or Tom Cruise, depending on your generation. Hopefully, this message will not self-destruct.
Eagle Valley boys basketball didn’t achieve the mission on Thursday night in an 83-54 loss to Montrose in Gypsum, but the Devils showed some of the elements they’ll need to display as the season progresses.
When you’re not the biggest team in the universe, the 3-pointer is the great equalizer. Eagle Valley displayed a bit of that with Nando Vidaurri and Keegan Garvey each hitting twice from behind the arc during the first half.
And, as a side note, it’s not like archrival Battle Mountain would be worried about a hot-shooting night — the Huskies, with the night off, were well-represented in Gypsum on Thursday — and no one could envision that happening again. Of course not.
Back to the Devils, another way to strike is with speed. Eagle Valley has it and used it to cut through the paint for scoring opportunities and to get opposing big men off-balance, which translates to fouls.
Branden Vigil, who led the home team with 10 points, and Bryan Martinez both slashed through to the hole as part of the attack.
“Your goal is to make other teams play to your strengths,” Devils Justin Brandt said. “We need to play fast and with great spacing and communicate well. Sometimes, we may need to have two guys covering one, but if we’re playing well, we can do that.”
On the defensive side of the ball, positioning is key. Eagle Valley (3-3) struggled to be in the right place at the right time for rebounding and cutting down the passing lanes. Montrose was able to pound the ball inside with Trey Reese finishing with 14 points and Trey Schwerdtfeger ending up with 10.
Eagle Valley was down just 37-26 at the half, within striking distance, before the Devils’ offense had just one field goal during the first six minutes of the second half, allowing the visitors to blow the game open.
This is why, of course, all schools schedule a nonconference foe, like Montrose, after the holiday break.
“The thing with these nonconference games is that they show us what we need to work on,” Brandt said. “We may be a younger team in terms of experience, but this is a good group when it comes to working hard and improving. They’re ready to get back to it at practice.”
Under the category of “no quit,” sophomore Carson Williams took a charge with fewer than four minutes left in the game and fellow soph Tanner Manzanare had a 3 at the buzzer.
Indians take care of Devils
No. 8-ranked Montrose girls basketball came as advertised and put down a 50-10 win over Eagle Valley Thursday night in Gypsum.
“We’ve been playing really well. It was our fifth game, which is not a lot of games,” Devils coach Beth Raitt said. “It’s tough to play a good, well-organized team after a long (holiday) break, but they’ve been playing strong. They’re hungry and take direction well. They’re a good squad for sure.”
The Indians moved to 11-2 overall, while the Devils fell to 1-4. The good news for both of Eagle Valley’s teams is that they open a new phase of the season on Saturday with league play at Steamboat Springs.