Late preps: More on Eagle Valley beating Glenwood
OK, the biggest drama of the night when Eagle Valley boys basketball took on Glenwood Springs Thursday night was my ability to file the story.
Since we were having computer problems way beyond my pay grade, I had to race back to Eagle-Vail to file the story and couldn’t talk to players or coach Brent McConaghy.
So instead for this edition of late preps, you get my reaction.
(OK, that’s the G-rated version.)
That was a beat-down. And that’s two league wins in a row against teams that have given Eagle Valley fits in years past, throwing in Steamboat Springs from Saturday.
The final Tuesday against Glenwood was 69-52. Honestly, it wasn’t that close.
(And if you’re wondering, “When was the last time Eagle Valley beat Glenwood,” we’re thinking 2002 when the Devils made the 3A state tournament. I was asking both Cliff and Cory Zehring on that. Eagle Valley certainly hasn’t beaten the Demons since moving up to 4A for the 2004-05 year.)
The Devils are looking as good as I’ve seen them in a long time. Honestly, my question is how’d they lose to Palisade? (I wasn’t there, but it’s hard to imagine, given how the team has played its last two.)
This squad clearly has the goods – depth, defense guard play, perimeter, toughness inside and speed. The key is going to be focus. The foot must be on the gas pedal at all times. I liked the timeout McConaghy called midway through the third period. His team was playing a little bit too comfortably with the lead, and the Demons were closing the deficit a bit.
McConaghy’s message was “Finish it.” (I was sitting in the top row and I heard it.) They did. Again, the game wasn’t in danger, but if this team is going where I think it wants to go, there’s got to be no let up.
• As the game ended, a parent asked me about standings, so here we go:
Palisade and Delta head north this weekend to play Moffat and Steamboat. Battle Mountain’s at Glenwood tonight (Friday) I know it’s difficult people, but the Devils are rooting for the Sailors against Palisade. In fact, your favorite two teams from now on are Eagle Valley and whoever’s playing Palisade.
And, of course, we’re not looking ahead when we see that it’s Palisade at Eagle Valley on Jan. 28.
Seriously, I doubt Palisade runs the table. I’m not being home-team guy. This is a tough league and road wins are going to be hard to come by. And since it’s probably going to be a photo finish, you can’t drop games against teams you should beat.
• This would be our segue to Tuesday game against Battle Mountain. (The sound you just heard was Huskies coach Tom Padilla printing this out and tacking it up on the bulletin board.) The Devils are the clear cut favorites – not a bold prediction on my part, but if you thought I looked at the world through black-and-gold glasses, you’re wrong. Good teams beat, tactfully-put, not-so-good teams.
Do I really need to bring up the football game as motivation? (I think I have now ticked off both Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain sufficiently.)
• Individual tidbits: You’re one slick dude, Juan Baca. … Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim Wells. I’m getting it. Nice shooting, kid. … Ayren Hart, Jeremy Sabo and Cooper Senn, you’re playing big. Good to see. … Sam Lounsberry, take care of that ankle. … And while I didn’t get to talk to coach McConaghy during postgame, his clapping as the final seconds ticked down were a sign of the significance of that win.
• Good job, but now get back to work, boys.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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