Huskies squeak by Summit, 40-34
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” Tuesday’s Battle Mountain-Summit County basketball game was likely the one of the ugliest played since Dr. James Naismith nailed a peach basket into a wall in 1891.
The Tigers and the Huskies combined for all nine points in the third quarter. After a 15-point first quarter, Summit managed only 19 the rest of the way. Battle Mountain scored just 22 points in the first three quarters.
“You had a better chance of laying an egg than of us making a 3-point shot,” said Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue, eloquently summing up the utter lack of offense Tuesday night.
But Battle Mountain woke up, scoring 16 points in the final 4:11 of the game, a stretch which included three 3-pointers for the Huskies and a critical technical foul on Summit’s Ryan George, to escape with a 40-34 win.
“I know it was ugly. I’m not going to doubt that, but that’s a good win,” Tronsrue said. “When you can be down until the last three minutes and beat Summit, that’s big for this team.”
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
“We outplayed them all the way up and down,” Summit coach Mark Ruybal said. “We just didn’t hit some shots at the end and they made run at the end and pulled ahead of us. They got a break on a technical and that’s what the difference in the game was. That’s all I have to say.”
Valdez is the spark
The win gave Battle Mountain a season sweep. The question was how did these two teams combine for 111 points last month in Battle Mountain’s 61-50 win at Farmer’s Korner? Tronsrue said that his squad was likely a little too amped and overconfident to face Summit again.
Whether is was overconfidence or the cycle of the moon, very little was falling in Eagle-Vail Tuesday except the snow. Tronsrue and Huskies assistant coach David Wilson were having an ongoing conversation during the third quarter about how to jump-start things.
“Dave Wilson and I were talking the whole third quarter. ‘Who were we going to get?’ We were shuffling in Jeremy (Windham), Parker (Lathrop) and some guys,” Tronsrue said. “Finally, Dave said to me, ‘What the heck? Let’s try Travis (Valdez). Travis knocks them down in practice.'”
Valdez knocked down a 3 with 4:11 left in the game, pulling the Huskies to within 30-27.
“I was nervous, really nervous,” Valdez said. “Pretty much shooting is what I do. It felt good. It made it a lot of fun.”
After a layup by George, Ashlin Romero hit from downtown, leaving Summit hanging on to a 32-31 lead. With 2:22 left, Battle Mountain’s Parker Lathrop charged into the lane and was hacked by George for a foul. Apparently, George argued the call unsuccessfully because he got a technical foul as well.
Lathrop hit two of four free throws, and Battle Mountain took its first lead at 33-32. Keeping possession because of the technical, Victor Rios canned a 3 and the Huskies were up by four. Battle Mountain’s Robert Weiss and Romero iced the game with free throws.
Romero had 14 points for Battle Mountain while, Weiss had 10. George led the Tigers with 12.
Summit (4-8) hosts Golden Thursday, while Battle Mountain (3-9) is at Glenwood Springs Friday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.