Huskies hoops heads into break in quandary | VailDaily.com

Huskies hoops heads into break in quandary

EDWARDS — Saturday's debate: Is the holiday break good or bad for Battle Mountain boys basketball?

"If we come back and get after it against Rifle (on Jan. 3) and get a win, then it was a good break," Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue said. "If things haven't changed, and we're still struggling, it was a horrible break."

One can always count on Dr. Phil for these insights.

The Huskies limped in to the holidays with a 78-54 loss to Evergreen on Saturday. Battle Mountain (3-4) has lost four out of its last five, and starts 4A Slope play at Rifle just after all the confetti has settled after New Year's.

Defense needed

While it's not the way the Huskies wanted December to go, there is plenty of room for improvement. Against the Cougars, who are playoff regulars, Battle Mountain simply did not get back on defense, making transition buckets far too easy for Evergreen.

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When the Huskies did get back, the Cougars pounded them on the boards.

"Transition defense and rebounding — we need to decide right now if that's going to be part of our identity," Tronsrue said.

Lest one think that this was all gloom and doom, the Huskies, trailing 43-20 at intermission, played well during the second half — it was a 34-34 tie.

Devin Huffman got going, scoring 13 of his 15 points. Sophomore guard Baker Gentry also found his shooting touch, racking up 15, while Luis Mendoza took some slashing routes to the hole for eight.

"We did get in there and scrap a bit more," Tronsrue said. "We were a bit more efficient on the offensive end. We're in search of guys making contributions in every facet."

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934.