Balanced attack pushes Devils past Ignacio, 74-60
‘Tis the season of giving, and so the Eagle Valley Devils basketball team decided to share the basketball like it was Christmas cheer on Friday against Ignacio in its season opener.
The Devils used a balanced scoring attack, with five players scoring in double figures, to beat the Bobcats, 74-60, at the Demon Invitational in Glenwood Springs.
“It was good to see a balanced attack tonight,” said Devils’ coach Phil Cain. “We played really well together. We had a really good second quarter and a really good fourth quarter.”
The Devils jumped out to a small 14-12 lead in the first quarter before surging in the second, going on a 23-12 run to walk into the locker room at halftime up by 13.
The Bobcats continued to apply pressure and hang close with the Devils in the third quarter, but in the fourth, it was all Eagle Valley.
A balanced passing attack and a deft shooting touch from Cody Gerard, who led all scorers with 19 points, proved to be too much for Ignacio as the Devils cruised to the win.
“It was pretty much a close game throughout,” said Cain. “We would get up by eight or 10, then they’d come back and make it close, then we would go up again by 10 or 12. They did a good job of putting pressure on us. I just can’t emphasize the good passing and team play enough. It was good to start off the season with a win.”
Along with Gerard’s 19 points, Jerad Schlegel added 15, Dillon Barkman had 12, and Sean Bartlett and Kevin Cruz each had 10.
The Devils continue tournament play today at 10:30 a.m. against Faith Christian and then again at 6:00 p.m. against Glenwood.
Lady Devils also win in opener
The Lady Devils basketball team also opened up the season with a win, breezing past Greeley Central, 63-46, in the Demon Invitational in Glenwood.
Eagle Valley’s Kenzie Shreeve led all scorers with 19 points, while Kelli Verderber and Amanda Padilla each chipped in 10 and nine points respectively.
“It never really was that close,” said Devils coach Mike Vidakovich. “I thought we came out well in first half. We were ahead, 37 -19, at halftime. The kids played good defense and the shots were falling. In the second half, I thought we kind of let up a little bit.”
The Wildcats did outscore the Devils, 17-12, to get as close at 13 points in the fourth quarter, but the game was pretty much in the books by that point.
Trista Sandoval hit 6-of-9 free throws, along with one field goal to total eight points and Rachel Sandoval and Heather Mann each had five points.
The Devils play again today at 9:00 a.m. against Faith Christian and then again at 4:30 p.m. against Glenwood.
Rifle squeaks by Eagle Valley wrestling, 35-32
After a huge opening season win at the Hotchkiss Invitational last weekend, the 3A Eagle Valley Devils returned to earth – and the mat – on Thursday, losing a down-to-the-wire dual meet at 4A Rifle, 35-32.
The Devils were ahead by 10 points heading into the final three matches, but couldn’t hold on for the win.
Rifle’s Tyler Thompson pinned Eagle Valley’s Jimmy Benavides at 5 minutes, 17 seconds in the 112-pound match to pull the Bears within four. Then, Luke Wooten of Rifle knotted up the score at 32 after earning four points for a 14-1 major decision over the Devils’ 119-pounder B.J. Ewing.
The Devils’ hopes rested entirely on the other Ewing, B.J.’s younger brother Mason, wrestling in the final match of the night at 125 pounds against Rifle’s Rodney Long.
Mason actually had the upper-hand on Long in the early-going, being up, 7-6, heading into the second period, but went behind after Long scored a reversal with 22 seconds remaining.
In the third period, Long pushed his lead to seven by scoring a takedown as well as a three-point near fall.
The Devils earned their 10-point lead off of decisions by Gabe Velasquez (275 pounds) Chris Best (135 pounds) and Kyle Kottenstette (130 pounds) as well a major decision win by Tim Reitz (140 pounds) and a pin from B.J. Jaramillo (103 pounds).
The Devils next test will be today at Buena Vista in a tournament that features established 3A schools Pagosa Springs, Centauri and Florence.
Nate Peterson is a sports writer for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 608 or via email@example.com
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.