Friday’s preps wrap: Nordic, Eagle Valley basketball

What. A. Finish.

That is exactly how Battle Valley-Eagle Mountain sports should be.

Whether one bleeds black and gold or black, white and red, Friday’s classic Nordic 5K was one for all time. Eagle Valley’s Ferguson St. John and Battle Mountain’s Sullivan Middaugh went-pull-for-pull, push-for-push over 5 kilometers with St. John winning by a nose.

Officially, St. John nipped Middaugh by 0.1 seconds.

Friday was the first meet of a modified COVID season. Instead of all the Nordic schools in the state meeting in one place every week, the sport is going local. Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley and Vail Mountain made up the field at the Vail Nordic Center on Friday.

Eagle Valley edged Battle Mountain on the boys’ side, 173-172. And, yes, that’s 1-tenth of a second determining a team race. Had Sullivan had the better lunge at the finish line — and St. John’s was superb, so Sully shouldn’t feel bad — one point changes and the Huskies win. Again, a terrific finish.

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Eagle Valley’s Aidan Duffy, Battle Mountain’s Ari Dennis and Garret Moehring rounded out the top five.

For the ladies, Vail Mountain’s Izzy Glackin ran away and hid, winning her race by more than 2 minutes. Battle Mountain’s Frances Farrell was second, followed by teammate Presley Smith, the Devils’ Samantha Blair and Battle Mountain’s Lindsey Kiehl.

The three teams gather again a week from Saturday at Maloit Park.

Devils fall at Palisade

Eagle Valley boys’ basketball fell from the ranks of the undefeated on Thursday, dropping a 51-47 decision at Palisade.

The Devils (2-1 overall and 1-1 in the Slope) trailed by one point with less than a minute to go. The Bulldogs converted late and Eagle Valley struggled from the free-throw line.

Erich Petersen provided superb minutes off the bench and Carlos Sanchez was also a bright spot, according to coach Justin Brandt.

Eagle Valley’s girls also lost, 39-32, to the Bulldogs, but the Devils looked a lot better on defense. With COVID, the season is compressed and scouting games are out, so the Devils did a nice job on the fly.

Against Palisade’s size, Eagle Valley (0-3) went to a 2-3 zone and did a nice job clogging things.

“We executed very well,” Devils coach Vinny Cisneros said. “We fronted the post, denied it. We got in the passing lanes well and were able to compete with them.”

Both Devils squads are home on Tuesday for Steamboat Springs.

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