Huskies defeat Bears in overtime thriller
EDWARDS — Seniors, thank your family, friends, teachers and your underclassmen.
On a night celebrating Battle Mountain’s six seniors (and team manager, Jimmy Le), it was junior Devin Huffman connecting with junior Miles Joersz for the game-winning basket at the rim as time expired in overtime, giving the Huskies the win, 44-43.
“To see the game winning play come down to two underclassmen,” said senior Jack Skidmore, “it’s a team — everyone’s playing for each other.”
The Huskies (11-9, 8-6 Western Slope) and Bears (17-3, 12-2) played within 10 points of each other the whole game, and the gym was rocking down the stretch with the Battle Mountain band and drum line getting it bumping.
“I think we had our best fan base of the year, too,” Skidmore said of the crowd that was deafening during free throws by the Bears. “They keep it alive.”
The six Battle Mountain seniors — Dante Hernandez, Chase Keep, Abraham Luevano, Demetrius Parrish, Abdoulaye Dath and Skidmore — aren’t done yet, as the win against the top team in the league could better its seeding for districts.
“They’ve been a fun group to be around,” said coach Philip Tronsrue. “They all have character, and all of them are fun to work with.”
LADY HUSKIES lose close one
You can take the baller out of Battle Mountain, but you can’t take Battle Mountain out of the baller.
There were talks of sing-a-longs, dancing and balling no matter what next year as Battle Mountain honored its two seniors, Jessica Sullivan and Steffania Trujillo, at halftime of Friday’s loss to Rifle, 48-40.
For the second straight season, the Lady Huskies (3-11 Western Slope) finish 5-14 with the season-closing loss to the Bears.
In coach Paul Stevens’ first year as head coach at Battle Mountain, the team continues to improve after 22 total wins in the previous 10 seasons.
“That’s a tough way to end, but all year we’ve always been right there, we just can’t get to the top,” Stevens said. “We’ve seen a lot of improvement, and we’re going in the right direction. All of these kids have been great.”
The Lady Huskies made a late push in the fourth quarter behind Monique Stevens, who finished with a team-high 19 points, but it wasn’t enough to top the Bears.
“It’s hard saying goodbye,” Trujillo said, “but I know that we put out a hard effort out there.”
“We improved a lot since our first year,” Sullivan said. “Our first year was rough.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.