Eagle Valley girls hold off Delta, 52-44 | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley girls hold off Delta, 52-44

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado
EVBBB team celebrate KA 10-24-09

GYPSUM, Colorado – Eagle Valley took Delta’s best shot and didn’t give an inch.

For the second-straight night, the Devils stood strong against a feisty opponent to hang on for a win. On Saturday, Eagle Valley used a balanced scoring attack to beat the Panthers, 52-44, in Gypsum.

The victory improves the Devils’ record to 6-9 overall, but more importantly, 3-3 in the Slope. A date with Battle Mountain looms on Tuesday for Eagle Valley.

“When your shots fall, it gets easier,” Eagle Valley coach Ken Reagan said. “They inched back in, and we kind of stopped it. We reversed the tide.”

Despite missing some easy shots early, the Devils’ offense found its rhythm. Eagle Valley scored 26 points in each half, and never went through an extended scoring drought.

Brenda Zapata (11) and Jamie Bair (10) both scored in double figures for the Devils. Sierra Pickslay and Yvette Parra each scored eight points. Kacey Bair added seven for Eagle Valley.

“We played hard,” Zapata said. “When we shot it, it went in.”

Staring at a 13-12 deficit in the second quarter, the Devils started to take control. Jamie Bair gave Eagle Valley the lead with a layup. Parra stretched the advantage to 24-16 as part of a 12-3 Devils run.

In the second half ” when the Devils have struggled in the past ” the Eagle Valley offense kept working the ball around. After Delta cut the Eagle Valley lead to 28-26, Pickslay answered with a mid-range jumper. Zapata drilled a 3-pointer a few possessions later to make it 33-26.

When Emily Kingston snared a rebound and made the putback for a 37-28 edge, it was evident Eagle Valley wasn’t going to let Delta wrestle the lead away.

“It feels great,” Parra said. “We played really well as a team today. It felt good that our shots were going in.”

In the fourth quarter, the Devils overcame shaky free-throw shooting with their suffocating defense. Eagle Valley withstood a Delta comeback attempt to hang on for the win.

With victories in their last two games, it appears the Devils are hitting their stride just in time for a matchup with Battle Mountain. Parra didn’t hide how much she’d like to get the best of the Huskies on Tuesday.

“I’m really excited (to play Battle Mountain),” Parra said. “I want to beat them at their home. It’s been a while.”

Boys go cold against Delta

It was a tale of two halves for the Eagle Valley boys basketball team on Saturday.

In the first half, the Devils drilled seven 3-pointers. After the break, Eagle Valley couldn’t buy a bucket. A long scoring drought that stretched into the fourth quarter was too much to overcome as Delta beat the hosts, 62-51.

“In the third quarter, we only scored eight points,” Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel said. “Our shooting has to get better.”

In the early stages of the game, it looked like the Devils were on their way to their first Slope victory. Cesar Castillo and Chris Brubeck made back-to-back 3-pointers to push Eagle Valley to a 8-3 lead.

The treys kept falling in the second quarter. Brubeck first 3-pointer of the quarter gave the Devils a 15-11 edge. Willie Magdziuk and Trevor Grayson followed with 3s of their own to build on the lead.

Castillo’s rainbow from behind the arc gave Eagle Valley its biggest lead of the game at 32-19. Unfortunately for the Devils, things turned south from there.

Delta came out of the halftime break on fire. Austin Watson cut the deficit to 33-27 with a layup. Tim Ashurst went inside for another hoop to make it 40-36 with the Devils still on top.

Watson gave Delta its first lead since early in the game with 6:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. With the Panthers seemingly unable to miss, Eagle Valley went on a long-scoring drought. Zak Thrall’s free throw well into the fourth quarter kept Eagle Valley close at 46-41, but the damage was too much to overcome.

Castillo hit a pair of long 3-pointers to give the Devils a chance, but Delta kept making baskets. The Panthers only missed one shot in the last three minutes of the game.

“At the end of the game, they didn’t miss,” Gabriel said. “They scored every possession in the last three minutes.”

Castillo led Eagle Valley with 17 points in the game. Brubeck had 14 and Magdziuk added nine.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or ismith@vaildaily.com.

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