Eagle Valley drops a pair of games to Denver Christian
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado ” The basketball hoops at Eagle Valley High School are regulation size, but members of the Devils’ boys and girls basketball teams probably wanted to double-check that after Saturday’s doubleheader.
Too many times to count, a wide-open Eagle Valley shot bounced off the rim without going in. The lack of scoring punch cost the girls’ team in a 53-45 loss to Denver Christian. The boys were hurt by turnovers and missed shots, losing 59-29 to the Crusaders.
It looked like Eagle Valley was on its way to victory in the girls’ game, but two long scoring draughts were too much to overcome for the Devils.
“There were times we took open looks, but sometimes the girl taking the open look wasn’t having such a good night,” Eagle Valley coach Ken Reagan said. “We needed to move our shots in a little bit more. That’s kind of the way it goes. That’s basketball.”
Despite the scoring struggles, Eagle Valley controlled the pace in the first half. A frantic, full-court press forced Denver Christian into making more than a dozen turnovers in the first 16 minutes of the game.
The Devils took advantage. Jamie Bair hit a free-throw line jumper to knot the score at 14. Later, Yvette Parra scored on a breakaway layup to give Eagle Valley a 20-18 lead. Parra added a 3-pointer right before the first-half buzzer sounded, pushing the Devils into the break ahead, 23-20.
Parra paced Eagle Valley with 14 points in the game.
“Yvette did pretty well,” Reagan said. “Brenda (Zapata) did pretty well. We just needed to crash the boards more. Control wise, we were under control. We were under control, we shot it, we missed and nobody was there to rebound.”
LeFebre takes over
Denver Christian’s Kristen LeFebre made sure Eagle Valley couldn’t overcome its second scoring draught of the game in the third quarter. With the Devils holding a 30-26 edge, LeFebre took over. She started by scoring five-straight points to give the Crusaders a 31-30 advantage.
LeFebre continued her onslaught in the fourth quarter. After Eagle Valley narrowed the gap to 42-41, LeFebre score on an inbounds play. On the next possession, she drilled a 3-pointer for a 47-41 lead. LeFebre led all scorers with 28 points in the game.
“(LeFebre) was tough,” Reagan said. “She hit shots when she was open. She’s a good rebounder. She got the line a few times. She took advantage of our girls. Hopefully, we learn from that because we have a lot of those players in our league.”
The Devils did their best to get back into the game, but Denver Christian iced the victory at the free-throw line.
The loss drops Eagle Valley’s record to 2-6 this season. The Devils next game is Jan. 9 against Moffat County.
Injuries take toll on Eagle Valley boys
What fans saw on Saturday in Gypsum is a team that is struggling to score. What they didn’t see is the difficult circumstances the Eagle Valley boys basketball team is playing with right now.
Cesar Castillo and Matt Morgan are both out with injuries. Willie Magdziuk is still trying to find his groove after returning from a knee injury. Chris Brubeck was limited on Saturday because of an illness.
With a number of key players ailing, it’s not surprising the Devils couldn’t execute offensively, losing 59-29 to Denver Christian.
“We’re suffering from a few key injuries,” Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel said. “I think now, the kids that are having to play are a little bit nervous. We made too many turnovers tonight ” way to many turnovers. We aren’t shooting the ball real well right now, which is the story of our life over here.”
The Devils scored in single digits in three of the four quarters against the Crusaders. Eagle Valley’s best quarter was the second when they notched 12 points. Other than the second period, it wasn’t pretty for the Devils.
Unlike Eagle Valley, Denver Christian executed its offense all afternoon. The Crusaders built a 28-18 halftime lead before putting on a show in the third quarter.
Peyton Hofer started the period by draining a 3-pointer. Erik Terpstra cashed in on three different backdoor cuts to stretch the Denver Christian advantage. By the end of the quarter, the Crusaders outscored Eagle Valley 21-6 and held a 49-24 lead.
“We’ve played some pretty good teams here early on,” Gabriel said. “That’s never a bad thing, to test your mettle and stuff. The positive is, we know what we need to work on and we intend to work on it.”
Brubeck fought through his illness to pace Eagle Valley with eight points. Zak Thrall had six points off the bench for the Devils.
Eagle Valley is back in action on Jan. 6 at Lakewood.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.