Eagle Valley Devils surge in fourth for win
Vail, CO Colorado
FARMER’S KORNER, Colorado ” The Summit County boys basketball team lost its second-straight game in which it held a fourth-quarter lead, this time 58-51 to Eagle Valley Tuesday.
Ahead 49-47 with three minutes left to play, the Tigers lost the lead as the Devils went on an 11-2 run to end the game and take the victory. Seven of those 11 points came from Devils senior point guard Cesar Castillo.
“He’s a senior, and he’s started for me for three years, and he definitely had a great game,” Eagle Valley head coach Pat Gabriel said. “We rely on him … and he can just go. He’s a strong kid, he knows how to run and handles the ball well.”
Castillo’s comeback may not have been necessary at first, but Eagle Valley struggled at the start of the fourth quarter. The Tigers trailed, 39-35, entering the fourth and started the quarter with a 12-4 run to take a 47-43 lead with 4:18 left.
Ten of the 12 Tigers’ points to start the quarter were scored by senior forward David Leopold and junior guard Taylor Troutman. Leopold came to life in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his 22 points in the final eight minutes.
“I wanted to win, mentally, I just really wanted to win,” Leopold said. “I just saw the open lanes, and wherever those guys weren’t, I was.”
Then Castillo took over the game. Trailing 47-43, he made a 3-pointer to bring the Devils within one. Following a Summit missed 3-pointer by senior guard Erik Brooks, Eagle Valley’s Willie Magdziuk was fouled and made one of two free throws to tie the game.
After Leopold made a putback off another Brooks miss, Castillo took the ball the length of the court and drove through traffic to score and tie the game at 49-49 with 2:53 remaining.
The Devils’ full-court press created a turnover on the ensuing possession, and Castillo found himself with the ball again. Driving under the basket, with multiple hands in his face, Castillo put up a shot while falling down. After the ball bounced once off the rim, it fell through the net to give the Devils a 51-49 lead with 2:07 remaining.
“That number five (Castillo) really hurt us, and I can do a box and one or triangle and two against someone like that, but with only nine practices we haven’t had a lot of time to put stuff like that in,” Summit head coach Mark Ruybal said.
Leopold would tie the game at 51 after getting the offensive rebound on another Summit missed 3-pointer, but then a Summit turnover with 1:13 left led to an Eagle Valley score by Trevor Grayson. Summit wouldn’t score the rest of the game.
“Coming up another 3,000 feet, I wondered if we had the energy to finish,” Gabriel said. “I actually called timeouts for rest twice … and make sure guys were in the right place, but they missed some critical threes, and we got the rebounds, and that probably made the difference in the game.”
Jonathan Batuello can be reached at (970) 668-4653 or email@example.com.