Both Eagle Valley teams close deal against Delta
GYPSUM — Not only did Eagle Valley boys basketball get its first win in about month, it was how the Devils did it on Friday night in Gypsum against Delta.
Eagle Valley was leading the Panthers only 52-50 early in the fourth quarter, but closed it down the rest of the way, winning, 69-56.
The Devils (4-9 overall and 2-5 in the 4A Slope) did so without one of their key players — Dawson Keller — who fouled out with 5:05 to go.
They did it with some clutch play off the bench in the form of Garrett Martin, who finished the night with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
They did it by knocking down free throws in clutch moments.
“This is a huge team win,” Martin said. “Everyone contributed. Everyone was hustling up and down the floor. Coach preaches it and that was huge.”
Coach Chris Walls has been preaching playing all four quarters, and while this wasn’t that elusive 32-minute effort, Friday’s game had the elements for which he is looking.
“We rose to the occasion. We’ve done that a couple of times. We need to do that all the time,” the coach said. “That’s what we’re capable of.”
A Nice Theme
With Eagle Valley hanging on at 52-50, Keller picked up his fifth foul on a charge. This is simply noted because adversity happens, and the Devils needed to prove they could overcome it. Without one of their bigs, Martin dumped in a bucket from the paint with 4:33 for a 54-50 lead.
Jesus Loera went to the line and knocked down both ends of a 1-and-1. This would become a nice theme. The Devils started the fourth quarter, going 9-for-10 from the line. That wins ball games.
Rebounding helps, too. The Devils did a great job on the glass in the fourth quarter and were able to turn those rebounds into scores.
“If you look at a box score, you can find out who won the game by who rebounded better,” Walls said. “We’re second or third in our district in rebounding. We want to be first, and that’s why.”
By the time Arturo Loera, who had a game-high 19 points, struck with 2:02 left, the Devils had upped their advantage to 60-54. Delta had to foul and the Devils obliged. C.J. (Chris, Jr.) Walls went 4-for-4 and Jesus Loera was perfect on his next three freebies and the Devils had their first win since Dec. 19 up in Steamboat Springs.
Girls find a way against Panthers
This ain’t figure skating. It doesn’t have to be pretty.
And it wasn’t as Eagle Valley girls basketball rallied for a 40-37 over Delta on Friday night in Gypsum. Eagle Valley (9-4 overall and 6-1 in the 4A Slope) trailed 23-20 at the half before its comeback.
“The win’s very important as we build toward the playoffs,” Devils coach Sam Bartlett said. “Delta came to play today. They came out and played a really good game. Their press was effective.”
And, due to foul trouble, the Devils couldn’t use their press.
The silver lining in this one was the play those who normally aren’t on the scoring. With apologies to Claude Rains, it wasn’t the usual suspects who shined.
Victoria Schwaiger tied the game at 26 with 4:18 left in the third quarter, and Taylor Hermosillo popped the 3 that ended up giving Eagle Valley the lead for good.
As the Devils held down the fort on the defensive end, Magda Alderete, Cassie Jaramillo and Jaycey Beard were pulling down rebounds.
“Victoria was very frustrated with her first half,” Bartlett said. “She showed a lot of poise in how she rebounded. Magda, Taylor and Jaycey all had big minutes in a close game. They gave us a spark.”
Schwaiger scored four more points during the third quarter, and Kylie Martin ended it with a hard-fought put back. (Just though Devils fans don’t think that the earth spun off its axis on Friday night — Martin led the team with 16 points.)
Eagle Valley’s teams are back at it today against Palisade at 12:30 and 2 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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