Eagle Valley plays catch against Delta | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley plays catch against Delta

Shauna Farnell
EVBB Gerard, Cody PU 2-5 Preston Utley/putley@vaildaily.com The Devils' Cody Gerard drives to the key during Eagle Valley's game against Delta Saturday in Gypsum.

The Devils took the opportunity against a team they knew they could beat to make sure that everyone had a chance to shine. And they did. The Devils won, 83-64, against Delta, and the victory was reached through a series of passes on the fly – where everyone on the court handled the ball at least once – and everyone on the bench had some playing time.”Something we’ve really, really worked hard at trying to accomplish is our passing game,” said Devils head coach Pat Gabriel. “It’s one of the most overlooked, undertaught, underpracticed and underutilized skills in the game. We’re not good at it yet, but we’re working hard at it. We could sub freely, we could do a lot of things. We were playing well.”The domination was so clear-cut that Gabriel replaced the entire lineup with the second string for the fourth quarter, which proceeded to nudge the score up and follow suit in a strong passing game.”We just have to play our own style ball. We have to run the ball – that’s what we did really well tonight,” said Eagle Valley senior Cody Gerard, who was the high scorer Saturday with 17 points. “We needed to win here because we have two tough ones coming up against Glenwood and Rifle that are really key to us.”Cody Fackler, John Gabriel and Clayton Forsyth each added 13 points. Fackler said the whole game felt more like playing than competing.”It was a lot of fun,” said Fackler, who spent more time on the court Saturday than his previous couple of games after recently dislocating his shoulder. “We came out to play, and it was a lot of fun. We all played as a team. We’ve been working on passing in practice.”

The team play was the most effective aspect of the Devils’ game Saturday, and the coach said his players were conscientious of giving the ball away.”Kevin Cruz, he’s distributing the ball,” Gabriel said. “He wasn’t really scoring a lot tonight, but he was making sure everyone else was. I just think it speaks volumes about him. Our substitutes did a good job and had some great plays, too.”Andy Johnson took over for John Gabriel getting the ball down court in the fourth quarter and was often the one to initiate the string of fast-moving passes that made their way to the net.”I haven’t had great games lately, but this one was a lot better,” Johnson said. “The best part was how the team played as a whole. We all just … we weren’t selfish. We gave up the ball a lot more. We played a good game. It’s one of our better ones lately.”The Devils take on Glenwood Springs at home Friday. Devils girls make big step in defense

GYPSUM – Eagle Valley High School girls basketball is learning that once the wall is there, the shots will follow.The Devils took a large stride in their defensive game Saturday when they soundly conquered Delta, 58-32.”We played them at their place last Saturday, we beat them, but it wasn’t as good as this game,” said Devils head coach Jamie Mayne. “We were struggling a little bit, Delta was hanging with us a little more. Our girls, they stepped up tonight. They got the job done. They did really well.”Senior Kenzie Shreeve was the top scorer with 12 points Saturday. Rachel Sandoval had 10 and Whitney Beasley 9. Sandoval was also a key defensive player, watching the ball and getting between players.”Rachel did a great job reading the ball,” Mayne said. “She had quite a few steals. Rebounds were good through the whole game.”The Devils came up with 18 defensive rebounds and 10 on offense. Mayne said the Delta girls might have been a little surprised to meet with a team that appeared twice as solid as the one that beat them last weekend. “I think they know what we’re capable of,” Mayne said. “I’m sure they were ready for it. They gave it their all. They tried really hard.”

Mayne said Eagle Valley’s offense is well-tuned at this point in the season. The girls can hit the net from about anywhere near it – Sandoval and Beasley each sank two 3-pointers Saturday and Sarah Reed wrapped up the fourth quarter with a big one.Still, defense is the key focus for the post season. The Devils held Delta to only five points in the first and fourth quarters Saturday, but Mayne said the wall is not completely solid yet.”For the rest of the season, I want the girls to play defense more steadily,” she said. “We had some spurts where our defense was awesome, then we’d kind of settle down a little bit. In order to prepare for postseason, we really need to focus on defense all four quarters. We can get the shots we want if we execute our offense, so I’m more concerned with defense. If we can stop the other team from scoring, our offense can do their job. I want us to be known for our defense. In the first year, it’s hard to come out and change that automatically. But I see it improving in every game. They did a great job with it today.”Eagle Valley has a 10-7 overall record and is 7-3 in conference. The Devils take on Glenwood Springs Friday at home. Sports writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or at sfarnell@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism