Huskies grab a pair from Devils at home |

Huskies grab a pair from Devils at home

Ian Cropp
BMB Conner John PU 2-3

EAGLE-VAIL – Rivalry, take two.By the cheers heard in the stands at Friday’s boys basketball game between Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley, you could tell the two teams were pumped to play each other.”Warm up the bus,” the Battle Mountain crowd chanted after as the clock winded down in the Huskies’ 67-40 win.”Wait ’till football,” the Eagle Valley crowd retorted.The players had even more intensity than their fans in what was a physical battle.After the Huskies jumped out to a 36-18 lead at halftime, the Devils closed the gap to 45-31 at the end of the third quarter, but the Huskies’ offense was too much for the Devils to handle in the end.”Everyone contributed for us,” said Battle Mountain coach Philip Tronsrue. “Derek Rush hit some 3-pointers, Josh Ruark, T.J. Montoya, and Kyle Leffler help make it work for Trent (Beckley) and Connor (Drumm) inside. They can’t double team Trent and Connor when Derek hits 3-pointers from outside.”While Rush hit two 3-pointers early in the first quarter, the Devils’ defense hung tough, limiting the Huskies to points inside. Eagle Valley’s John Gabriel was on the bench for most of the second quarter after earning his third foul late in the first quarter.

“When we got in foul trouble, it became a chess game to see who was going to guard (Trent) and when,” said Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel.Beckley picked up his scoring in the second half to finish with a game-high 25, as well as a game-best 20 rebounds. He also added a dunk, much to the home crowd’s pleasure.Drum hit some key jump shots and had several layups in traffic to grab 19 points, while Rush added 13 points.Despite spending a good amount of time on the bench, John Gabriel had a team-high 10 points. David McMichael played some solid defense before he ran into foul trouble, and added eight points, as well.Let’s get physicalIn the second half, both teams started to bump and grind a bit more.”The game got a bit out of control. Everyone was driving and hacking,” said Eagle Valley’s Bear Barkman. “But they were making their shots, and we weren’t.”Barkman did have two consecutive 3-pointers for his team in the second quarter, however.While the Huskies went 12-for-24 in the second half, the Devils went 7-for-27.”We shot it poorly tonight,” Pat Gabriel said. “I’ve always been proud of how hard our kids have played, but we just need to be better shooters.”

And when the Devils missed their shots, the Huskies were there to grab the rebounds, move down court, and extend their lead.”After halftime, we came out solid and started working it inside on offense,” Rush said.Tronsrue was happy with how his inside players responded to pressure.”Eagle Valley wanted to make it physical and put pressure on our guards and work Connor and Trent inside,” Tronsrue said. “I told them everyone is going to come at you and want to play physical, so you’ve gotta handle the pressure.”Each team picked up a technical foul in the final quarter.Huskies’ girls earn first league winThe Battle Mountain girls were not going to let this one slip away. After Eagle Valley came from behind to beat Battle Mountain in the teams’ last meeting, the Huskies held off a late surge by the Devils to win, 54-48.”We worked so hard this week in practice because the last time we played them, we were up and we let it slip away,” said Battle Mountain coach Ernesto Arrendando.”Every game (this year) we haven’t finished off, but we started and finished this one.”

After a leading 20-18 at halftime, the Huskies built a 47-35 lead by the end of the third quarter. “In the third quarter, they went off on us,” said Eagle Valley coach Jamie Mayne. “We didn’t hit our shots, but we weren’t following our shots either, and they got all the rebounds, which converted into shots for them.”Arredando was his team’s performance on the glass.”We stepped it up. Last time we struggled on the defensive rebounds,” Arredando said.The Huskies’ Kaeli Hosler had 13 rebounds, while on the other end of the court, teammate Lauren Prewitt had a game-high 24 points.”I love beating them in our house,” Prewitt said. “Eagle Valley has fast players though, so we had to stay up.”As they have all year, the Devils racked up the steals, with Rachel Sandoval earning a game-high eight, followed by Amanda Padilla with seven.And as the game played out, the teams got a bit physical and committed numerous fouls.Three players fouled out of the game, while several starters finished the game with three and four fouls.”It was a little more physical than I would have liked to see,” Mayne said.

Spreading out the scoringThe Huskies grabbed points from all over the court.Prewitt, usually a force in the paint, was forced a bit outside by heavy Eagle Valley pressure. But Prewitt was able to sink many jump shots from outside.”Sometimes I like to go up high,” Prewitt said.Kelsey Sanders added 10 points for the Huskies.Padilla had a team-high 15 for the Devils, with Jeannette Baker (10) and Sarah Reed (seven) also contributing. Elana Hernandez had two 3-pointers, including one at the buzzer.The win marked the first league victory for Battle Mountain.”Battle Mountain played hard,” Mayne said.Eagle Valley will host Steamboat Springs Friday starting at 5:30 p.m. , while Battle Mountain hosts Moffat County on Friday starting at 6 p.m.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or Colorado

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