Devils 3-0 after Huskies sweep
EDWARDS – Don’t make plans yet for Christmas.
Eagle Valley basketball is on a roll, but a road trip to Delta looms on Thursday.
“We can’t exhale yet,” Eagle Valley girls basketball coach Sam Bartlett said. “They’re the team to beat.”
“Delta’s a scary basketball team,” Devils boys basketball coach Jim Bair said. “They’re good. They get up the floor.”
Nonetheless, the Devils will be heading west with momentum as they swept their archrivals, Battle Mountain, Tuesday night in Edwards. The Devils beat the Huskies, 36-28, in the girls’ game, while Eagle Valley’s boys got by, 66-51.
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Both Eagle Valley teams moved to 3-0 in the 4A Slope. The boys are 7-1, while the ladies are 6-2.
In the nightcap, the Huskies (5-3, 1-2) survived an early barrage of Devils’ 3s from Jordon Hudspeth and Juan Baca as Eagle Valley led early, 15-6. Eagle Valley pushed that lead to 27-13 in the second, before the Huskies charged behind the inside-outside combination of Jimmy O’Rourke (eight points) and Joe LyBarger (a game-high 18).
Battle Mountain closed to within one point early in the second half behind a Jerry Carrazco bucket at 36-35. Eagle Valley started to pull away with a 3-point play by Travis Edgar with 4:34 left in the third quarter.
Alan Caraveo and Ayren Hart, who topped the Devils with 14 points, had back-to-back baskets to start the final period, and Eagle Valley had a tenable margin at 54-42.
Naturally, it was hard to figure whose team won from the postgame.
“I don’t think we came mentally prepared tonight,” Bair said. “We’ve had some successful games so far. I just don’t think that our boys came to play a Battle Mountain team that’s very, very good. I’m going to have to do a better job of getting our guys ready.”
“We came in with a good game plan, I thought,” Huskies coach Tom Padilla said.
“We started off in that zone and then went to man-to-man to mix things up. Our game plan was not to let Baca shoot. It didn’t happen. He nailed a few and that was pretty much the difference.”
In the girls’ game, Battle Mountain overcame a slow start to tie the game at 10 midway through the second quarter. With the Devils leading 16-10 at the break, Eagle Valley salted the first round of the rivalry. Lauren Thorpe scored six-straight points for the Devils, and Ally Zehring added a bucket. The Devils led, 24-12, with three minutes left in the third quarter.
Thorpe ended up leading Eagle Valley with 15 points.
“I’ve been thinking that Lauren would step up,” Bartlett said. “Taylor (Martin), Megan (Asmussen), Mariel (Gutierrez) and Madeline (Lounsberry) can all lead us in scoring. We have a lot of flexibility. We don’t have to rely on one person.”
Eagle Valley extended that margin as Martin went to the hole and then Zehring was good on a 17-footer. By the time the quarter was done, the Devils were leading, 28-15.
The Huskies, however, kept battling, and it’s not hard seeing them surprising some teams after the break.
Katia Lopez and Elizabeth Olivas each had seven points for Battle Mountain (1-7, 1-2).
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.