Huskies tied for Slope lead
EAGLE-VAIL ” With 2:31 left in Friday night’s Battle Mountain-Glenwood Springs boys basketball game, the Huskies’ white-clad crowd started to chant, “It’s all over.”
It’s anything but over in the 4A Slope after the Huskies toppled the Demons, 75-60. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got ourselves a race in the Slope with Battle Mountain and Glenwood tied at 7-1 with six league contests to play.
“It’s huge. It puts us right back in it,” Tronsrue said. “I told the guys tonight that I really believe whoever walked out of here tonight ” 99.9 percent ” was going to be the league champion. I just firmly believed that. I think we’re going to step out and get after (the second round of league play). We let that game in Glenwood slip (in the Slope opener). We had a bad night. Tonight was the way we’ve been playing most of the season.”
Tronsrue was quick to add that there a lot of basketball left and that teams like Steamboat, Palisade and Eagle Valley loom in the second half of the season for both squads, but for now, Battle Mountain holds the edge against the Demons.
If both teams run the table, which is not at all certain, it comes down to common nonconference opponents. Battle Mountain beat Roaring Fork, 46-42. Those same Rams defeated Glenwood, 52-50.
“This sets the stage for the rest of our run,” said Huskies center Trent Beckley, who had a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds. “We’ve got what we’ve done now, but it’s not over. We haven’t won the league championship. We have to keep going. We can’t lose another game.”
Glenwood coach Kevin Flohr agreed.
“They’re a good team,” he said. “There’s still a long season. We’ve got to move on. We’re 1-1 against them. That’s where were at.”
T.J. takes a spill
Battle Mountain really controlled from the start. Though Michael Flohr was a continuous thorn in the side of the Huskies with a team-high 21 for the Demons, Battle Mountain’s Connor Drumm had 15 of his 17 points in the first half.
Three Beckley buckets to start the second quarter play plus a four-point play from Josh Ruark ” a 3 and the foul “had the Huskies up 35-22.
Holding a 39-29 hafltime lead, a pivotal moment could have come when Huskies shooting guard T.J. Montoya was involved in a collision with a Glenwood player. Montoya was sprawled on the floor with blood all over his face.
While all the Huskies were worried, Beckley was visibly shaken.
Tronsrue wisely called a 30-second timeout to calm his crew after Montoya was patched up.
In times past, Beckley might have lost his game. Instead he went on a 16-point, second-half rampage, and that sealed the deal.
“He focused in the right direction,” Tronsrue said. “I think all the guys saw T.J. and the blood on the floor. In the huddle, they were saying, ‘We’re doing this for T.J.’ No one puts one of our players down intentionally or unintentionally. I’m not saying it was intentional. If one of our players goes down, we go together and pick up for him, and that’s what we did.”
Glenwood hosts Eagle Valley today, while Battle Mountain (15-2) must come down to Earth for a 5:30 p.m. game at Rifle.
“Every game’s for the league championship,” Beckley said.
The Battle Mountain faithful packed The Doug House mostly adorned in white shirts. With a standing-room-only audience, it was likely the most-attended basketball game in Eagle-Vail in a long time.
And most of those who had seats weren’t using them. The Battle Mountain and Glenwood student sections were standing for most of the game.
“That was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had playing basketball,” Drumm said. “That’s what it’s all about. That shows some school support. Community support is great, so thank you, guys.”
Lady Demons beat Huskies
Oh yes, there was a girls basketball game, too, amid all the hoopla of the boys’ showdown.
Trailing 20-19 at the half, Glenwood Springs strung together a 16-0 run to start the third quarter to cruise to a 58-29 win.
“Our intensity needed to increase and we needed to rebound,” Glenwood coach Deb Henderson said. “That was what was killing us.
In the first half, they got everything, credit to them, and we were letting them have it. We made it our goal to outrebound them and pick up our intensity.”
Emily Hauptli led the Demons with 16 points, while teammate Ashley Jensen recorded 12.
“We stressed the first quarter because we never come out strong,” Huskies coach Ernesto Arredondo said. “We did well in the first half and then just fell flat.”
Battle Mountain scored only nine points in the final 16 minutes. Lauren Prewitt led the Huskies with 14 points, while Kelsey Sanders had eight.
Glenwood, 7-1 in the Slope and 9-6 overall, hosts Eagle Valley today at 2 p.m. The Huskies, winless in the Slope, is at Rifle at 4 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.