Lady Devils celebrate seniors with win
February 5, 2016
GYPSUM — Senior Night for the Eagle Valley girls basketball team brought up memories of buzzer beaters against Rifle, never ending dribbles, pizza, homies and Justin Bieber.
"It was very emotional, but you get to play with your best friends — your family," said senior Raquel Pereida.
All six Devils seniors all played a role in the 50-44 Western Slope win against Glenwood Springs on Friday, but it was junior Kylie Martin who helped jump out quick and later seal the deal.
Eagle Valley never trailed in the game, coming out hot behind nine straight points by Martin on possessions where every Devils player on the court had a touch.
But the game had a few familiar "oh no" moments, with the pesky Demons staying within striking distance throughout the game, especially the fourth quarter.
Martin scored all 15 of the Lady Devils points in the fourth quarter, en route to a game-high 29 points and the league win.
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Seniors Pereida, Ashley Floyd, Jaycey Beard, Victoria Schwaiger, Magda Alderete and Tatiana Deere all have plans for big things after Eagle Valley High School, and the experienced group is keeping the Devils near the top of the league.
With the win, the Lady Devils (11-5 overall and 8-2 in league) remain in the top-three of the league, with three straight road games coming up. And, almost more importantly, they get February off on the right foot, a month that has plagued the team in past seasons.
"It was good to get the win, but it wasn't satisfying," Schwaiger said. "I know that we can do a lot better than what we just did."
Floyd said the girls are now practicing with the boys, looking to toughen up down the stretch of games. Take it to 'em, ladies.
"We need to get going," she said. "This year we've gotten so close, and I think that's helped our record this year. We play more as a team."
It's coming together, piece by piece, and something special is brewing for the boys basketball team under first-year head coach Chris Walls.
One of the final pieces, and one of the hardest to figure out, is finishing games, something the Devils (5-11, 3-7) couldn't do despite leading most of the game against the Demons (9-8, 7-4), falling 77-70 after a fourth-quarter comeback by Glenwood Springs.
"We're big boys now. We're not a young team anymore and we've learned how to win," said coach Walls. "But we haven't learned how to build a lead and put a game away."
The Devils started out quick with Jesus Loera making impressive post moves in the paint, setting up the outside shooters.
"We were getting it into the post pretty easily," said Jimmy Murphy, who scored 14 points for the Devils, "and they were kicking it out to me so I could get some open shots."
Despite holding a lead after each of the first three quarters, the Devils couldn't put away the Demons, who hit big shots down the stretch.
But on a night where the Lady Devils celebrated their seniors, there were no seniors to honor for the boys, as there are none on the team, making next year's Senior Night one for the books, with 10 juniors currently on the team.
The Devils limited Cameron Horning, one of the more dangerous scorers in the league, to just four points in the first half, courtesy of the long, shot-altering arms of Loera and Dawson Keller.
The Devils play next at Rifle on Tuesday.
"We're just trying to put it all together for all four quarters," Keller said.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
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