Bears top Devils, 69-39
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado ” Brad Skinner received a nice birthday gift Friday night, watching his Rifle Bears girls basketball team defeat Eagle Valley, 69-39, in a Class 4A Western Slope League contest.
Every Bear chipped in for the win from Quincey Snyder’s 17 points, six rebounds and six assists to Sandy Samson’s 12 points and six rebounds.
“I think we were pretty balanced tonight. All across the board, not just scoring, but steals, assists, rebounds ” everybody contributed tonight,” Skinner said.
The Bears relied on their defense, which came up with 22 steals, to generate their offense, which frequently ended with fast-break layups. Eagle Valley head coach Ken Reagan said he even thinks the Devils’ press-breaking is one of their strengths, but it was no match for Rifle.
“They got us tonight. We keep track of how many scores they got off … steals in their halfcourt, and they scored 25 points just off mistakes on our own half court,” Reagan said. “That’s a lot of points.”
Outside of Snyder’s six steals, Ciara Euler had five, and McWilliams, Alissa Skinner and Samson each had three.
“They are fast. We couldn’t play our normal starting five girls because we didn’t have any matchups we could match up with,” Reagan said.
Despite 15 steals in the first half ” part of Eagle Valley’s 20 turnovers ” the Bears couldn’t take a big lead. Instead, it was Eagle Valley that got hot, as Yvette Parra cashed in on back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Devils a 25-23 lead with just over two minutes to go in the second quarter.
After Skinner called a timeout, his team went on a stealing rampage, scoring 11 straight points to close out the half with a 34-25 lead.
Jackie Eberhard finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Devils, while Parra finished with nine points. Jeanette Baker fouled out with four minutes left with six points, six rebounds and six assists.
“She is our leader, and tonight she didn’t have her best night, but she did a lot of other things,” Reagan said of Baker. “She brought the ball down the court and had good passes.”
Eagle Valley, 2-9 and 1-3 in the Slope, will be at Battle Mountain on Tuesday.
RIFLE, Colorado ” Scott Rust made a triumphant return to the court, scoring 24 points to lift the Rifle boys basketball team over Eagle Valley, 71-51, on Friday night.
After sitting out Wednesday’s 49-46 victory over Glenwood, Rust returned to the lineup and led the charge for the speedy Bears, who stole and used fast breaks to bypass the Devils in a 4A Western Slope League showdown. Rust swiped four of Rifle’s 14 steals, with younger brother Tyler and Keenan Ross each nabbing three.
While the final score revealed a wide margin, the first half was quite the opposite. Both teams traded points, never getting far away from each other. Eagle Valley stayed in it mainly due to the hot hand of Cesar Castillo, who hit four 3-pointers in the first half.
“Cesar can shoot a little bit; he is a good ballplayer,” said Rifle head coach Chris Lowther.
Three of Castillo’s treys came on consecutive Devils possessions, giving Eagle Valley a short-lived lead.
Rifle came back with Rust and fellow guards Hazen Moss and Eric Laudick attacking the basket, and the Devil ball handlers, with fury. Their efforts put the Bears ahead, 30-27, at the half.
Then came the Bears’ offensive outpouring in the third quarter. Rifle scored 26 points, held Eagle Valley to 15 and gained a lead it never lost. By the start of the fourth quarter, the Bears had a 56-42 lead.
Castillo was the top scorer for the Devils, finishing with 21 points, while Scott House tallied 16.
Eagle Valley (2-9, 1-3 Slope) will be at Battle Mountain on Tuesday.