Huskies rally for wins over Delta |

Huskies rally for wins over Delta

David L'Heureux

The first-half Huskies were a cold-shooting, uninspired, selfish and sloppy bunch that carved themselves out an 18-point halftime deficit.

The team that showed up for the second half was a group of fiery competitors who took the team concept to a new level, dominating the game on offense and defense en route to a 20-point turnaround and a 77-75 victory.

At halftime, it looked as if the Delta Panthers were going to cruise to an easy win on the shoulders of 6-foot-4 junior forward Blake Carlquist. He was money from beyond the arc, and dominant on the inside boards.

What Delta didn’t take into account was the halftime activity in the Huskies locker room, where senior and team leader Blake Gammons called for his teammates to answer the bell in the second half.

“I just told the guys, “I’m ready to play, who is with me?'” Gammons said. “It’s time to step it up, and it’s now or never.”

And step it up they did. Trailing 46-28 at halftime, Battle Mountain guards Chris Romero and Eddie Irgens would begin a barrage of 3-pointers that cut the Panthers’ lead down to twelve midway through the third.

The Huskies continued to whittle away at the lead. The rally was capped off at the end of the third quarter when forward Andrew Feldman stole the ball with time running out and got off a buzzer-beater from just inside halfcourt, to make the margin just 61-56 going into the final eight minutes.

“The three at the end of the third by Feldman was huge,” Huskies head coach Philip Tronsrue said. “We had worked so hard to get it down to eight points, then he puts that one down and it took us to five, and gave us a huge shot of adrenaline that we needed for the fourth quarter.”

Feldman opened the fourth with another three-point shot and an offensive rebound and lay-in to give the Huskies their first lead of the game.

From there, the defensive hustle and strong moves to the basket by No. 33, Beau Beckley, would help carry the team to the finish.

“I told Beau that he needed to get the ball down low and take it up strong,” Gammons said. “He ended up touching the ball 24 times in the second half. He scored some big baskets and played really well.”

Julio Hermisillo and Feldman helped ice the game late with some clutch free throws.

The win brought the Huskie’s record to 3-9. With a string of winnable conference games coming up, could this comeback victory mean new life for Battle Mountain?

“Absolutely,” said Gammons. “It’s a whole new season for us now.”

Lady Huskies overcome early deficit

EAGLE-VAIL –Battle Mountain girls basketball won its first game of the season Saturday night, using a suffocating defense to outlast Delta at home, 43-34.

For the Huskies, it was their first win against a 4A opponent, their first 4A Slope win and their first win in the freidly confines since Feb. 5, 2000.

But it didn’t come easy against the Panthers, especially in the early going.

When you play in your own gym, the rim is supposed to be your friend. This was not the case for the first half.

Despite literally hurling their bodies all over the floor, the Huskies still managed to be trailing 7-5 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the defense was stifling again, but the shots would just not fall at the offensive end.

Sophomore Meagan Reigel and junior Kim White were everywhere. Time after time, Delta’s possessions would end up with the ball in Battle Mountain’s hands in the form of a steal, rebound, or tie-up.

Erin Drumm’s intercepted pass – and coast-to-coast drive for a layup– would give the girls their first lead, 14-12.

Cold shooting aside, the Lady Huskies managed to outscore Delta 9-6 in the second quarter, taking a 14-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The team effort that kept the girls in it in the first half and led them to victory in the end was what excited Huskies head coach Dave Hite.

“If you look at our stat sheet you will see that everyone contributed tonight,” Hite said. “Almost every girl scored, rebounded, had steals, or did a little of all three.”

Battle Mountain stretched its lead to 10 at the end of the third with a long-range bomb from sophomore Alexis Guinn.

From there on it was point-guard Sara LyBarger’s ability to control tempo and hit free throws down the stretch that enabled the girls to hold on to the lead.

“We’ve been asking Sara to step it up a little bit for us, and she did that tonight,” Hite said. “We call her our little general and she was just that for us when we needed her.”

The win meant alot to the girls, as evidenced by LyBarger’s post-game comments.

“We were psyched about this win tonight,” LyBarger said. “We didn’t turn the ball over, we worked really hard as a team and played good defense.”

The raucous crowd was pumped as the clock ran down on this inaugural win for the Lady Huskies, who laid the foundation for further success in the second-half of 4A Western Slope League play.

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