Huskies, Devils hoops lose tournament games | VailDaily.com

Huskies, Devils hoops lose tournament games

LAKEWOOD — There is a reason for playing more Front Range teams, even though the lessons learned are painful at the time.

Battle Mountain boys basketball lost its second in a row on Friday night, bowing to Erie, 75-58, at the Paul Davis Classic.

"The competition level down here is different," Huskies coach Phil Tronsrue said. "We're trying to see how long we can compete with teams. If we can compete with Central and Erie, we can compete with the likes of the Eagle Valleys, Glenwoods and Rifles of this world."

The translation of this is that yes, it's good to get wins against 2A Vail Christian and Longmont Christian during the opening weekend of the season, but the goal is to play with strong 4A teams, and it's coming in stops and starts for the Huskies so far.

One very good sign is that junior Devin Huffman continues to go off. He had 19 points against Central on Thursday night and 27 against Erie on Friday night. His development in the paint is key for the Huskies success.

Finding the balance of inside-outside has been elusive so far down in Lakewood for Battle Mountain. Baker Gentry and Ethan Tatreau combined for 17 points against the Tigers, which is a start.

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Battle Mountain wraps tournament play today at 12:30 p.m. against Denver West.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

Northridge tops Devils

Eagle Valley fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 73-49 loss to Northridge on Friday night in the semifinals of the Steamboat Springs Shootout.

The Devils (5-1) will play the winner of Colorado Academy-Steamboat Springs, which had not finished up by press time, today at 12:30 p.m. for third place in the tournament.

"It was a great matchup," Devils coach Chris Walls said of Friday night's game. "Northridge, to me, is a team that is going to make a nice deep run in February and March. I felt we shored up a lot of things, but we gave up too many second-chance points."

Jesus Loera hummed along with another double-double — 13 points and 10 rebounds. Dawson Keller also had a good game with nine points and 10 boards. Seven of those rebounds came on the offensive end and he played most of the second half with four fouls.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.