Eagle Valley boys win third straight with 67-57 victory at Grand Junction | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley boys win third straight with 67-57 victory at Grand Junction

Devils improve to 6-7 on the year with a home contest against Montrose coming up on Saturday

Aedan Phalen's defensive efforts helped Eagle Valley to a third-straight win on Wednesday night.
Isabella Almanza/Courtesy photo

Deion Sanders might want to get the copyright for his “we’re coming” mantra soon, because the surging Eagle Valley boys basketball team has good reason to start producing their own amped-up locker room Instagram posts at this point. The Devils have bounced back from a five-game losing streak stretching from mid-December to Jan. 7 with three straight wins after a 67-57 victory at Grand Junction on Wednesday night. Eagle Valley received scoring contributions from 10 players.

“It was a hot environment, fans were into — tough game,” described head coach Justin Brandt.

The Devils started out slow, trailing after the first, but outscored the Tigers in every period afterward. Late in the game, Brian Fontana stole the ball and converted on a tying lay-up. He was fouled on the play, and his made free throw gave the Devils the lead they never relinquished.

Elias Pena led the way with 10 points, with Nikko Von Stralendorff adding nine and eight rebounds. Tyler Bates was also a force on the boards, with five. Branden Villalobos was the court general for the Devils, leading the team in assists and pestering the Tigers with five steals.

Elias Pena led the Devils in scoring in Wednesday’s victory, dropping 10 points in the double-digit win over Grand Junction.
Isabella Almanza/Courtesy photo

“It was a total team game,” Brandt said. “We had 10 players score and we just outlasted the bigger Grand Junction for a great team win.”

Support Local Journalism

The win came after an 84-65 victory in the team’s home opener against Durango. In that contest, Brandt received scoring contributions from 15 players, led by Max Jaramillo’s 12 points.

“We came out shooting well but got into early foul trouble with our aggressive play,” Brandt said regarding Friday’s game. The Devils were still able to build a 14-9 lead after one and increased it to 39-25 by the half.

“Max put us on his back in the first half,” Brandt said. In the third quarter, Durango tried to make things interesting, pulling within 12 heading into the fourth. “But Nikko took over in the second half.”

The forward scored all 10 of his points in the final two quarters as the Devils dropped 31 points in the fourth alone to pull away with the comfortable win. Von Stralendorff picked up a double-double as well with 10 rebounds. Gunther Soltvedt drilled three 3-pointers to chip in nine points and Kaden Kraft and Aedan Phalen combined for nine steals in the game as well, “Which is unbelievable,” the coach praised of his players’ defensive efforts.

“We’re looking forward to our next home game against Montrose.”

The Devils host the Red Hawks, who are 9-3, at 2 p.m. before hosting Battle Mountain next Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Support Local Journalism