Up, down and all around for Devils | VailDaily.com

Up, down and all around for Devils

John Knauf

Roller coasters are good at Disney World, but they’re not so much fun during a girls basketball schedule.The trend was evident during the weekend of Jan. 17 as the Devils lost 60-32 to Aspen and beat Hotchkiss 54-43. Saturday’s momentum was short-lived, however, as Eagle Valley fell to Basalt 70-43 on Jan. 21. That leaves the Devils at 2-4 in conference play with a home game against Roaring Fork on Jan. 24.The Battle Mountain girls continue to struggle as well. With losses against Glenwood Springs and Rifle over the weekend of Jan. 17, the Huskies fell to 0-9 on the season.”It’s a matter of putting a whole game together,” said head coach Dave Hite. “We’re kind of a Jekyll and Hyde group, but they’re still practicing hard and they’re getting refocused and ready to go.”The Husky hockey team, on the other hand, is plenty focused. With a dominating 6-0 win over Palmer the weekend of Jan. 18-19, the Huskies are 10-1 for the season and undefeated in five conference games. Defense has been the key during Battle Mountain’s nine-game winning streak.”We’ve been eliminating a lot of second-shot opportunities and alleviating key neutral zone opportunities,” said Husky coach Jade Kersey. “If we’re playing in (our opponents) end it eliminates a lot of chances for them.”Now comes the tough part of the season. The next three games are all difficult road tests starting with a trip to Colorado Springs and Pueblo to take on Palmer and Liberty this weekend (Jan. 24-25).While Liberty presents the biggest threat to Battle Mountain, the Huskies refuse to overlook Palmer.”It’s mental preparation,” Kersey said. We don’t want to get too high or too low. We need to play well every time out and not rest on our laurels.”This weekend of travel adds something to the equation, but the more challenge you have, the better you’re prepared for the playoffs and the better you can prepare for things you need to do to get better.”In wrestling, it was a great weekend for the Eagle Valley wrestling team. On Friday, the Devils eked out a 35-32 win against Meeker, a team ranked third in Colorado’s 2A classification, and followed up that performance with a fourth-place finish at the Palisade tournament.Mason Ewing had a huge come-from-behind win against his Palisade opponent in the final match at 112 pounds. Down 3-1 with 12 seconds left, Ewing reversed his opponent and scored three points in the final 12 seconds of his match to win 4-3. Tommy Barela also posted a first-place finish at 103 pounds.Tim Reitz finished second at the tournament, and Greg Hollis and Kylan Kottenstette had strong third-place finishes.”This is the first weekend I was pleased with the way everyone wrestled in each match,” said Devils head coach Jeff Luedders. “They’re peaking just at the right time, and I could see 10 kids going to state very easily.”A trip to Lake County awaits the Devils Jan. 25-26. Sixteen teams are on their way to this tournament.With four wrestlers out with injuries or sickness during the weekend of Jan. 18-19, the Battle Mountain wrestling team was somewhat depleted. Despite winning four out of six matches where the Huskies had wrestlers, a 60-24 loss to Middle Park was the final tally.At the Englewood tournament on Jan. 18, sophomore Rudy Frausto was a surprise winner at 112 pounds with a final match victory over Rocky Mountain’s Josh Post.Daniel Trujillo and Cody Stackpole had strong third-place finishes as well.”Rudy is up and down,” said head coach Jason Dutton. “He seems to beat the real tough kids and struggles with others he should beat. (Still), I see him improving every day and really building up his strength in the weight room.”

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