Huskies get by Moffat County, 73-66
EAGLE-VAIL ” Very quietly, the Battle Mountain boys’ basketball team set a school record Friday night for wins in a season by running its record to 17-2 with a 73-66 win over Moffat County.
“We don’t want to stop there. We want to finish the regular season 20-2,” Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue said.
No. 17 did not come easily, but as the Huskies ” new to the league title chase ” are finding out, wins are difficult to come by in February.
“(Moffat) had a four-game winning streak coming into tonight,” Tronsrue said. “They wanted to position themselves for the playoffs. They could do some damage by trying to knock some teams off. They came in here very motivated tonight. We had some good leads. We got careless at times. We did what we needed to do to get the win and walk out of here.”
Duran goes off
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Battle Mountain built a comfortable early lead with its usual inside-outside attack. Inside, Connor Drumm posted 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Trent Beckley, gamely playing with a hurt left hand, had 17 points and 10 boards.
The Huskies’ T.J. Montoya (10 points) and Josh Ruark (eight points) provided nice balance from the perimeter. Battle Mountain was seemingly cruising with a 33-19 halftime lead.
Then Derek Duran exploded for Moffat. The Bulldogs senior poured in 35 points, the most by any Battle Mountain opponent this season in Eagle-Vail.
“The kid’s just so tough,” Tronsrue said. “He wants to take control of the game. He has the skills to do that. We told everybody that he’s going to catch the ball up top and try to penetrate or he’s going to try to post you up. He’s just so quick. We were a little late trying to get some help.”
Behind Duran, the Bulldogs closed to 68-65 with 1:25 left in the game before he fouled out with 61 seconds to go. Battle Mountain got some clutch free throws from Drumm and Kyle Leffler to ice the game.
“I’m real proud of our kids for hanging in there,” Moffat coach Scott Parker said. “We knew we were going to make a run, and they put a stop to it just before we could get it tied. They have a nice team. They caused us some mismatches, but they hit their shots.”
Moffat County (10-9 overall and 6-5 in the Slope) hosts Eagle Valley today at 5:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Battle Mountain (10-1 in league) heads to its personal house of horrors ” Steamboat ” for a 7:30 p.m. tilt.
“We’ve just got to keep playing hard,” Montoya said. “We’ve got to get off to a good start.”
Bulldogs sink Lady Huskies
The Moffat County girls’ basketball team is undefeated ” and it isn’t a fluke.
The visiting Bulldogs shrugged off a solid effort from Battle Mountain and some poor play of their own Friday night to beat Battle Mountain, 54-31.
After being drubbed in Craig earlier in the season, the Huskies led the Slope-leading Bulldogs, 10-9, after the first quarter before Moffat ripped off a 24-3 run in the second to pull away to its 19th win against no losses this season.
“I think the girls just realized that we needed to show up and play focused,” Bulldogs coach Craig Mortensen said. “We weren’t too focused that first period, and Battle Mountain played better. I give them credit. They got after it.”
But the Bulldogs steadied the ship in the second by pounding the ball inside to Cayla Maneotis and Markie Workman. Maneotis scored all of her nine points in the decisive second quarter, while Workman had a game-high 22.
“They do a good job posting up,” Mortensen said. “We thought we could get the ball in better. That was one of the things we thought we needed to do is get the ball inside to Markie and Cayla and then come back out. We were launching our shots too early. We needed to be a little more patient in our offense.”
Angie Charchalis added 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Kaeli Hosler led the Huskies with 13.
“At Moffat, they were running the heck out of us,” Huskies coach Ernesto Arredondo said. “We wanted to slow it down and play our game. We’re not fast, so if we played with a slower tempo we knew that we would play better. We gave a good effort.”
Moffat County (11-0 in the Slope) hosts Eagle Valley today at 4 p.m., while Battle Mountain (1-10 and 3-16) is at Steamboat at 6 p.m.