Huskies pull the upset in Gypsum
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado ” Even before Friday’s tipoff, the Huskies knew they weren’t going to let this one get away.
After giving up a 13-point lead and falling to Eagle Valley on a buzzer-beater in Eagle-Vail less than a month ago, the Battle Mountain boys basketball team had but one collective thought.
“We were pissed,” said Huskies coach Phil Tronsrue. “We were pissed they took it from us in our own house … and about not being disciplined enough.
“We had a big lead on them and got silly and it cost us. And we vowed that we were not going to let that happen (in Gypsum).”
And the Huskies made good on that promise. After storming out to a commanding 28-11 lead, Battle Mountain weathered a late-comeback attempt by Eagle Valley with poise, to win, 54-45 Friday in Gypsum.
“Coach told us we were going to win,” said Battle Mountain center Ashlin Romero. “We were hungry and just wanted to come after them.”
The Huskies charged the basket early and often, rattling off 18 first-quarter points. Early in the second quarter, Battle Mountain went on a 10-0 run before the Devils cut the deficit to 29-15 at half.
“That was a pathetic start,” said Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel. “It’s hard to believe that in your house, you can’t play better than that to start.”
At one point, the Huskies led by 20 points before the Devils awoke and mounted a comeback that gave the entire gym a giant dose of dejà vu.
With about 1:20 to play, Eagle Valley had chopped the deficit to 49-40. After Romero sunk a pair of free throws to push the lead back to 11, the Devils used a trey to cut the lead to eight. The time continued to tick, and while Eagle Valley made another dent into the lead with 20 seconds left, making it 52-45, Romero answered with a layup to flame out any comeback hope that remained.
“Our guys did a pretty good job of trying to hold their composure,” Tronsrue said. “You know, they get caught up in the momentum. We tried to reel them back in, then let them go, and every once in awhile they’d go off and then we’d have to reel them in again.”
In the paint
While Battle Mountain found much of its offensive success scoring from the paint, the Devils couldn’t seem to get much flowing from inside all night.
“The story of this game was layups,” Gabriel said. “They made them and we didn’t.”
Romero scored most of his game-high 27 point down low, while teammate Kyle Woolley (12 points) did the same.
“Our philosophy was we are going to run Kyle and Ashlin and make a two-man game,” Tronsrue said. “And we ran a lot of high-low stuff, drove Ashlin down on the post and decided they couldn’t handle that part of our game.”
Eagle Valley grabbed points from beyond the arc, and found some late success down low, but was just off the mark on many shots. Scott House led the Devils with 13, followed by Cesar Castillo (11) and Roberto Pantoja (10).
“House is good and Cesar is good, and they are going to get their points,” Tronsrue said. “We can’t let one of them get 25 to 30. We were trying to limit their possessions and looks and we focused on crashing the boards and getting rebounds on the defensive end.”
“They delayed, so when they are delaying you have to depend on your defense and our defense didn’t get it done tonight,” Gabriel said.
Battle Mountain used its bench sparingly.
“I subbed one guy off the bench,” Tronsrue said. “We are going six guys for 32 minutes.”
Eagle Valley was coming off a long streak of just practice, as its only game last week was postponed due to a snowstorm.
“It took us a long time to get our sea legs under us. We haven’t played for almost two weeks. We can’t got from a dead stop to a start,” Gabriel said.
Devils’ D presses Huskies, 57-43
GYPSUM ” In an already a standing-room-only gym, the Eagle Valley girls basketball team gave rival Battle Mountain no room to move Friday night in Gypusm.
With a stifling press and deceiving zone, the Devils avenged a loss to the Huskies earlier this year with a convincing 57-43 win.
“We have been working on that press all week,” said Eagle Valley’s Jeanatte Baker. “It was so good to have it come together.”
After holding Battle Mountain to 12 first-half points, Eagle Valley saw the Huskies go on an offensive run to start the third quarter before clamping down for the remainder of the night.
“We tried that in the first game and we were fouling too much,” said Eagle Valley coach Ken Reagan. “We fouled a lot here, but ended up getting points off it.”
The Huskies struggled to find the bucket most of the evening.
“We were flat all-around, especially defensively,” said Huskies’ coach Andrew Schmid. “We just weren’t ready to handle the pressure and I don’t know why. It might have been the loud crowd, or a lot of pressure. It’s a tough environment to play in.”
Eagle Valley rotated in its entire squad, and ran at full tilt all over the court.
“I don’t think it was our defense. I don’t think it was our offense. I think it was our heart,” Baker said.
Eagle Valley scored a bunch of its points in transition and in the paint.
“Off all of our steals, I think everyone on our team had a basket,” Baker said.
Three Eagle Valley players were in the double digits, including Baker (16), Jackie Eberhart (13) and Miranda Aragon (13).
“That’s what I’ve been looking for,” Reagan said. “It’s always been one person who has had the most points.”
“We don’t expect to give up that many points against Eagle Valley,” Schmd said. “And we just couldn’t capitalize on easy shots.”
Battle Mountain’s Emily LyBarger had a game-high 22 points, and was 12-for-14 from the line.
“I’m always pleased with how she plays,” Schmid said. “I can always rely on her to show up. She was two or three steals away from a triple-double.”
Battle Mountain gained considerable momentum after half, when it trailed 21-12. The Huskies opened up the third frame going 5-for-5 from the field and pulled to 29-24 before the Devils scored seven straight points.
Eagle Valley hosts Steamboat today while the Huskies host Moffat County.