Devils glad to be home
From the opening tipoff, the Devils made Gunnison feel as uncomfortable as possible. Eagle Valley forced 27 turnovers and outrebounded the Cowboys 40-17 on its way to a 71-47 victory that improves the Devils to 2-0 in the league and 2-3 overall.
“We came out and hustled,” Devils junior Jerad Schlegel said. “We forced a lot of turnovers because we hustled. On offense, we just tried to keep moving the ball. We made some passes and got a lot of layups.”
Schlegel led the Devils in scoring with 13 points, and tacked on four rebounds, three assists and seven steals.
But it was senior Craig Jagger who sparked the early Eagle Valley rally. Jagger poured in seven first-quarter points, leading the Devils out to a commanding 22-7 lead after the first eight minutes. Junior center Dillon Barkman added six in the opening period, including a dunk in the first minute.
In the second quarter, it was more of the same. Gunnison (0-2 in the league) was held to just four field goals in the half and fell behind 35-13 at intermission. Gunnison shot 31 percent for the game, but made 35 percent of its shots from three-point land.
“These guys, they play as a team,” Eagle Valley head coach Phil Cain said. “They passed the ball well. We were able to get a lot of open shots. Craig did a good job of dishing the ball, and Dillon made some jumpers for us.”
Jagger finished with nine points and seven assists, while Barkman added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Sean Bartlett added another double-double, scoring 11 and grabbing 10 boards.
The Devils, who finished third in the league last season but won the district tournament, face Cedaredge today on the road. Cedaredge finished second in state last season and is ranked eighth in state this year.
“It should be a good game,” Schlegel said. “We had a pretty good week of practice. It will be one of those games that will tell us where we’re at.”
NOTES: Senior Justin Wood added seven points for the Devils and sophomore Clayton Forsyth poured in 10 … Sophomore Cody Gerard scored 10 points and added four rebounds … Gunnison was led by junior Bradley Nelson, who finished the game with 14 points and led all scorers … Eagle Valley committed 14 turnovers on the game, but shot 56 percent from the field.
Lady Devils pick up first league win
GYPSUM – The pressure got to the Cowboys.
Eagle Valley girls basketball installed a full-court press Friday night in Gypsum to disrupt Gunnison, resulting in a 53-42 win for the Devils, their first 3A Western Slope League win of the season.
Junior Trista Sandoval led the way for Eagle Valley, scoring 12 points and adding nine rebounds.
“Trista did a nice job,” Devils head coach Mike Vidakovich said. “But I told everyone in the locker room, Diane Mayne was the player of the game. She’s always had the talent, but now she’s learning to be aggressive.”
Mayne patrolled the middle for Eagle Valley, scoring six points and pulling down five rebounds. But it was her defense that kept the Cowboys shooting from the perimeter, a strategy that allowed Eagle Valley to pull away in the third quarter after building a narrow four-point halftime lead.
“I think in the second half, the girls just stepped it up on defense,” Vidakovich said. “They picked it up on the boards, too. The girls are starting to get the hang of moving the ball down the court, and tonight, we were able to use the fast break to get some layups.”
The full-court pressure had Gunnison (0-2 in league, 1-6 overall) guessing all day. A slew of steals, combined with a 15-foot jumper by freshman Amanda Padilla in the third quarter, boosted the Devils’ lead to 39-31. In the fourth, the Cowboys attempted a comeback, but when senior Brooke Baughfman took a Padilla pass and laid it in, the lead grew to 12. Gunnison would late cut the lead back to eight, before another Padilla pass found senior Sarah Brubeck open, who scored to push the lead back to double digits.
Brubeck would later hit a short jumper to put the game away with a little over a minute remaining. The point guard finished with nine points and two steals. Sophomore Kenzie Shreeve added eight points and six rebounds, while Baughfman contributed five points, seven rebounds and two steals.
Padilla, meanwhile, put up seven points and four steals, to go along with a pair of assists.
Eagle Valley (1-1, 2-3) travels to Cedaredge today for another Western Slope League contest.