Lady Devils score sweet victory over Palisade, 64-54, in Gypum
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM ” For eight minutes on Friday night, the Eagle Valley girls basketball team played like a jilted lover seeking revenge. Or in other words, like the playoff team it hopes to become.
The furious action turned out to be the most important eight minutes of the Devils’ season,
Eagle Valley overcame an 11-point deficit in the final four minutes to force overtime. In the extra period, the Devils dominated, leading to a 64-54 victory in Gypsum.
“We really wanted it,” center Kacey Bair said. “We want to keep playing (in the playoffs). We knew the game wasn’t over. We stuck with it.”
The win has huge playoff implications. Eagle Valley improved to 5-6 in the 4A Slope and 8-12 overall. More importantly, the Devils leapfrogged the Bulldogs (5-7, 5-16) in the standings to move into fourth place.
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“It’s a huge win,” Eagle Valley coach Ken Reagan said. “We have the season sweep on Palisade. We hold our own destiny. We have to win two (more).”
Even the referee’s all-star performance couldn’t overshadow Eagle Valley’s impressive rally. The refs called 57 total fouls and more jump balls than even Rain Man could count.
In the end, it didn’t matter because of the Devils’ determination to win. Trailing 40-29 with just more than four minutes left, Eagle Valley found its rhythm.
Sierra Pickslay started the decisive run with a jumper. On the next trip down the floor, Pickslay scored inside to make it 42-36 with Palisade still up. Pickslay scored a career-high 10 points.
Brenda Zapata cut it to three points at 43-40 with four-straight free throws. Yvette Parra gave Eagle Valley the lead, 46-45, when she stole the ball and raced down court for a layup.
“The defense was really important,” Parra said. “Coach told us to get up in their faces and try to take the ball away from them. We communicated really well.”
Parra and Zapata led the Devils with 14 points each. Zapata added nine steals and six assists. Bair had 13 points and 15 rebounds in the win.
“You have to have (balanced scoring),” Reagan said. “We don’t have one girl who is going to score 28 or 30. You got to have girls scoring in bunches.”
Palisade’s Sarah Hayes sank a free throw to send the game into overtime, but it only delayed the inevitable with all the momentum going Eagle Valley’s way. A Pickslay steal led to a Parra layup and a 49-46 lead. Later, Zapata fed Parra for another easy hoop to make it 57-52.
The Devils iced the game at the free-throw line with clutch shooting from Zapata and Mikaela Nevin. Eagle Valley made 24-of-39 free throw attempts in the game.
While Eagle Valley was at its best in the last eight minutes, the game played out like messy breakup for the first 28. Both teams fumbled chances to take control.
Palisade jumped to a 13-1 lead before Eagle Valley knotted it with a 12-0 run. The rest of the game up until the Devils spurt at the end was filled with whistles and the Bulldogs slowly building an advantage.
Eagle Valley came alive just in time to save the game and maybe its playoff chances.
Eagle Valley starts hot, but falls to Palisade
The Eagle Valley boys basketball team came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders on Friday, but unfortunately it didn’t last.
The Devils fell to hot-shooting Palisade, 72-58, in Gypsum.
In the first quarter, it looked like Eagle Valley (3-17, 1-10) would notch its second-straight victory. Chris Brubeck and Willie Magdzuik hit back-to-back 3-pointers to stake the Devils to an early 8-4 lead. Magduik, who led Eagle Valley with 15 points, hit another trey to push the advantage to 16-7.
“We scored on the first five in a row,” Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel said. “I think all season long, we’ve been getting wonderful looks at the basket. You can’t fault our scheme for not really getting looks. It was nice to see us finish early.”
The Devils took a 20-13 lead into the second period, but that’s where the game changed thanks to torrid shooting by the Bulldogs. Palisade’s Nathaniel Yanez drilled a 3 to cut into Eagle Valley’s lead at 24-20. Later, Jeremy Hayden cashed in a trey to put the Bulldogs up 31-28.
“It didn’t help that we sent them to the free-throw line 24 times,” Gabriel said. “You have to move your feet on defense. In the third quarter, we were getting steals and messing them up a lot. Then we would turn it right back over.”
The game stayed close throughout the third. Trevor Grayson and Brubeck hit buckets to keep the Devils within two. A few minutes later Grayson swished a 3-pointer from the left corner to make it a one-point game at 44-43.
Grayson scored 10 points in the game, and provided a big lift with his defense and rebounding.
“Trevor Grayson played great defense, so did Chris Brubeck,” Gabriel said. “Trevor was just all over the place.”
Jake Edmiston made sure Palisade left Gypsum with a win in the fourth quarter. First, he went around the defense for two to give the Bulldogs a 53-45 edge. With the game still in limbo later in the period, Edmiston made a traditional 3-point play for a 13-point lead to put the game away.
Eagle Valley is at Delta today.