Huskies take Summit; ready for Palisade | VailDaily.com

Huskies take Summit; ready for Palisade

EDWARDS — Thursday night was the undercard.

Tonight is the main event.

Battle Mountain boys basketball took care of business on Thursday night in Edwards, dispatching Summit County, 54-44, setting up tonight's showdown with Palisade with second place in the 4A Slope on the line.

"In the past, it's a struggle to get out of the cellar," Huskies coach Phil Tronsrue said. "A lot of times, we're not talking district tournament (this time of year). We've won four in a row and five out of six. We're rolling in the right direction."

“We came in at half time and regrouped. Everybody knows we should have been up by more. We just had to get it together.”Abdoulaye DathHuskies basketball player

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The Huskies are 10-7 overall and 7-4 in the Slope with Palisade (7-3) rolling into town. By the way, the last time, Battle Mountain hit double digits in wins was 2011 (11-11).

Size matters

The Huskies had an ugly 43-23 loss at Palisade last month. Shooting better is key and then there is Palisade's size and approach to the game.

"They are physical and we need to accept that," Tronsrue said. "We need to know that's how the game will be played. We're pig and we can play physical too."

"We have to be smart at the same time," Abdoulaye Dath added rightly. "We have to use their physicality against them."

Unexpected break

Battle Mountain wasn't crisp against Summit on Thursday night.

Granted, the team needed a break after winning three games in three days at the end of last week, but Mother Nature gave the Huskies more time than necessary.

"It was a tough first half. We missed some easy chippies. We had some turnovers. It was kind of a tough week," Tronsrue said. "We played Glenwood on Saturday, were off on Sunday. No practice on Monday and no school on Tuesday. We were a little rusty."

Off went the rust at the start of the second half.

"We came in at half time and regrouped," said Dath, who led the Huskies with 14 points. "Everybody knows we should have been up by more. We just had to get it together."

Regrouped and ready

Miles Joersz started the third quarter with five points consecutive points, including a 3-pointer.

Lost in that trey was a superb effort by Chase Keep to keep the ball in bounds. He flicked it to Jack Skidmore, who found Joerz beyond the arc.

Skidmore dropped in his own jumper, followed by a Dante Hernandez 3 and another long bomb from Joersz and the Huskies led, 35-24.

"I feel like the break affected us. We had no energy today," Dath said. "We've got to get back in a groove tomorrow. It's not going to cut it."

Meanwhile, the Battle Mountain girls basketball team fell at Summit, 59-38.

Tonight is the usual double dip with the girls at 5:30 and the boys at 7.

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