Battle Mountain basketball edges Summit
That was easy ... not
EDWARDS — Yes, that was just another laugher, an easy walk in the park, a no-drama win.
Battle Mountain boys basketball escaped with a 63-62 victory on Saturday against Summit. In traditional Huskies fashion, it looked like they were trying to kill their coach and all their fans in the process.
“Obviously, they didn’t like a 10-point lead in the third quarter. They wanted to let Summit feel like they can play with us after a great third quarter,” Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue said somewhat jokingly.
Battle Mountain took a 63-60 lead with 14 seconds left in the game on a Liam McKenny 3-point play. Down three points, Summit called a timeout with 2.5 seconds remaining.
The plan at that point was to foul the receiver of the inbound pass, limiting the Tigers player to two free shots with the clock going down to almost nothing.
Instead, Jack Sullivan grabbed Summit’s Hector Diaz and got whistled for the intentional foul — two shots and possession after. (You may insert your Homer Simpson d’oh here.)
Tronsrue didn’t comment on the call after the game, but he didn’t really have a good poker face after the call.
With 0.4 seconds remaining, Summit didn’t have a Christian Laettner in it and did not get off a serious shot. (Jack Sullivan doubtless exhaled.)
Tronsrue said he didn’t feel that his club was feeling the effects of fatigue having played three games in five days, which is also next week’s schedule — three games, all on the road in five days — Grand Junction, Steamboat Springs, and Palisade.
It was more of a matter of focus, Tronsrue thought, with the school’s winter dance Saturday night — the streamers and balloons were already up in the gym.
In the third quarter, the Huskies broke open a 27-27 tie by starting to move away from the ball, passing well and charging the rim, getting the visiting Tigers in foul trouble.
Even before the second half started, Summit was fouling Owen Ruotolo, which was just a bad idea. There’s no one Huskies would rather have on the line.
Backed up by good defense, the Huskies built a lead with one of two McKenny 3-pointers, a slick Harrison Rubis jumper, bucket by McKenny and Ruotolo and a 3 from Hakeem Dath.
This, again, is the application of “The more than two” theory of Tronsrue. It must be more than just McKenny and Ruotolo, and it was. Credit Dalton Patterson and Sullivan — completely forgiven for the late miscue — with quality minutes toward that end.
Yet Battle Mountain let the Tigers back into the game, something they’re going to try to avoid doing during the remaining six games of the regular season and whatever postseason may come.
That’s four in a row and five out of the last sixth for the Huskies (10-7 overall and 4-3 in the Slope; Battle Mountain started league 0-3.)
Saints slam Caprock
Some times the magic works. (Yes, we can tie together Vail Christian and the 1970 Western “Little Big Horn.”)
The Saints were hitting on all cylinders as the gents drilled Caprock Academy, 85-51, on Saturday.
Jamison Lee had 26 points while Alec Moritz had 20 points and 10 dimes. Jessie Gonzales finished with 11, and Kaleb Williams returned from injury.
The real fun was sibling play in the second half. At one point, Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns had Alec and Theo Moritz and the Downeys (Connor, Ryan and, Quinn) on the court. Alec fed Theo for a 3 and Quinn had two 3s.
The Saints had a whopping 30 assists, which means they were playi9ng good ball and also hitting everything in sight.
Vail Christian (12-2, 6-1) is at Hayden Tuesday, home for Paonia on Friday and at North Park Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Vail Christian’s girls also pounded the Eagles. Zoey Barela and Maddie Ellsworth combined for 31 points while Grace McCurdy has 12. Vail Christian also welcomed back Abby Kuhns from injury.