Devils, Huskies girls basketball get wins
Way to go, ladies
Well done, Cap.
Senior Sieairra Rivera dropped 22 points, 11 rebounds and was 6-for-10 from the free-throw line as the Devils girls basketball beat Steamboat Springs, 45-41, for their first win of the year Tuesday night in Gypsum.
“She’s been huge,” Devils coach Vinny Cisneros said. “She just got voted captain of the team. I don’t know if that helped trigger her leadership. She was huge for us. Really, it was her relentless effort.”
Since sports fans a superstitious bunch, maybe everyone in the locker room should vote her the captain before tonight’s game at Glenwood Springs. Just a thought.
All kidding aside, everyone affiliated with Eagle Valley girls basketball needed this one. And many more than Rivera were architects of the victory. Yes, victory does have a thousand fathers or mothers, as the late 35th President said — sort of.
The Devils did a better job of taking care of the ball and improved its defense on Tuesday night. Averaging 30 turnovers a game, Eagle Valley cut that number to 22 against the Sailors. Cisneros will be the first to tell you that 22 turnovers are still a problem, but eight more possessions are quite helpful in a four-point game.
Eagle Valley’s full-court pressure also gave Steamboat fits. Look at the trend, people. Eagle Valley allowed 66 and 56 points in losses to Grand Valley and Battle Mountain. The Devils gave up only 39 in a loss to Palisade and 41 in beating Steamboat.
So it wasn’t just Rivera going off, even though she did. Cisneros mentioned that pretty much everyone on the varsity roster played a role, particularly on the defensive side. The Devils used their bench early and often to keep up the intensity through 32 minutes.
In the nightcap, Eagle Valley boys basketball lost to the Sailors, 66-54.
Huskies edge Palisade
It seemed like a close game on paper. Battle Mountain girls basketball beat won at Palisade, 36-33.
The Huskies actually led 21-7 at the half and 28-19 at the end of three quarters, so it got a little tight there.
The first reaction always remains, “Whoo-hoo, down goes Palisade,” because the Bulldogs have thumped Huskies basketball in years past. But it’s the second reaction, the collective reaction of Huskies’ girls basketball, that is the takeaway.
How do you close out games?
Let’s face it. This isn’t a question that this program has had to address usually. In normal seasons, the Huskies go 5-15 and fans cherish the wins and forget about the losses. The standards are higher recently.
“I think we learned some lessons about shot selection and situational shot selection,” Huskies coach Jim Schuppler said. “Yes, you’re open. Yes, the ball is properly balanced in your hand, which are the criteria we have for taking a shot. But do we need to force the issue and give them an opportunity?”
In coach-speak, that’s, “Hey, ladies, we’re up by 14 at the half. You may have the open shot from the perimeter. But that is not the right time for the 3. If you miss, Palisade comes right back with the rebound and the chance to narrow the lead. Let’s try to work the clock a little bit and then find, perhaps, a more easy inside shot, something more high-percentage.”
Again, if Battle Mountain girls basketball is starting to assess the quality of execution in a win, the program’s in a different place than in the past and that’s great.
In fairness to the Huskies, Gabby Caballero (20 points) and Alden Pennington (seven) both got in some foul trouble, which will happen occasionally on the road. The two returned to the game with six minutes left and were able to stick it out until the end.
The Battle Mountain boys fell to the Bulldogs, 56-28.
The Huskies host Steamboat Springs at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and it is Senior Night/Afternoon. As such the parents of the players are welcome at said games.