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Eagle Valley sweeps Delta

Ian Cropp
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GYPSUM Delta had all the momentum heading into overtime, but Eagle Valley wasn’t about to let this one slip away.After Delta erased a nine-point deficit in the final three minutes, the Devils hit some key shots and hunkered down on defense in the extra period to finish off the Panthers, 65-60, Friday night.”I looked at the scoreboard at the beginning of overtime and saw four minutes, and I said, ‘We want this more than they do,'” said Eagle Valley’s David McMichael. “I’m elated with the way we played tonight. It was excellent team ball.”Delta trailed Eagle Valley from the opening minutes of the game, but hung tough and found some magic in the fourth quarter.With three minutes remaining, Eagle Valley led 58-49, but Delta went on a 9-0 run, and nailed a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining to tie the game.”We had a defensive breakdown,” said Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel. “We made a correction during the intermission before overtime. The game was a great experience for the kids.”Eagle Valley’s Jacob Rivera had some key steals in the final stretch of the game and in overtime.”I was going for it when it was there,” Rivera said of his steals. On the other side of the ball, Rivera netted 10 points.”I thought Jacob was the player of the game,” Gabriel said. Pressure points

McMichael had a game-high and career-high 22 points, but was quick to give credit to his teammates.”The other four guys on the court came out strong,” McMichael said. “The running we are doing in practice is really paying off.”Bear Barkman added 11 points for the Devils, with his biggest basket coming halfway through overtime.With Delta leading 60-58, Barkman drained a 3-pointer to put the Devils back in the lead. McMichael followed with a jump shot to extend Eagle Valley’s lead to 63-60.In regulation, Carlos Martinez grabbed some key offensive rebounds for Eagle Valley that led to follow up baskets.The shorthanded Panthers, who were missing their leading scorer due to injury, found scoring from Jeremy Sanchez (16 points), Brice Buchheim (15 points) and Clayton Miller (14 points).Today the Devils hope to bring the momentum from last night’s game into Palisade.”We can get it rolling now and get some wins,” Rivera said. Lady Devils dump Delta, 66-43Someone should have told the two police officers watching Friday night’s girls basketball game between Eagle Valley and Delta to do their job.The Devils got away with assault and robbery in their 66-43 win over the Panthers.

After trailing 27-18 at halftime, Eagle Valley dominated Delta in the third quarter, outscoring the Panthers, 30-5.”We came out, were aggressive, executed our offense, got steals, and converted our shots,” said Eagle Valley coach Jamie Mayne.During a 30-2 run, Rachel Sandoval collected six of her game-high 13 steals.”I think she was fired up and made about (injuring) her knee (in the first quarter),” Mayne said.Sandoval was a defensive force on the court all night, picking the ball from Delta on inbounds passes and even fast breaks. At one point, Sandoval even tried to steal the ball from the official on a re-start, but the official then realized it was Delta’s ball. “My shots weren’t falling, so I had to pick up on other parts of my game to help my teammates,” said Sandoval, who added 10 rebounds and six assists. “Everyone on the team was playing their role.”One player whose shots were falling was Amanda Padilla, who scored a game-high 24 points.”I just have to know I can make the shots,” Padilla said. “My teammates were there to get me the ball.”Another hot hand for the Devils was Jeannette Baker, who dropped 15 points and picked up 10 rebounds. Full benchNot only were the Devils’ starters lighting it up, but the bench players played with spark, also.



“Kacey Bair got some key rebounds and Mary Cochrane was boxing (Delta’s) big girl out,” Mayne said.As a team, Eagle Valley’s defense was like the Berlin Wall, registering 30 steals. Padilla had seven steals and Sarah Reed had five. The Devils used a press before Delta reached half court, then they played a tight man-to-man.”We made them really flustered,” Padilla said. “We knew they weren’t great dribblers, and I know if we pressure them, that’s how they can fall apart.”Even when the Devils had no opposition, they still stuck it to Delta.Eagle Valley was 13-for-18 from the free throw line.But Delta regained composure in the fourth quarter, trading baskets with Eagle Valley.The Panthers’ Ariel Halverson had a team-high 15 points, while Heather Rux went on a surge in the final frame to register 12 points on the night.Friday’s win put an end to a losing streak in which the Devils had several close losses.”We really needed this one,” Mayne said. Daily Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or via e-mail icropp@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado


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