Man overboard: Devils dump Pirates
Roll the superlatives for the Eagle Valley boy’s basketball team.
The Devils did almost everything right in their 86-29 thrashing of visiting Olathe Friday night.
Those late to their seats in the first quarter missed a 17-2 Eagle Valley run right out of the gates. The Devils forced multiple turnovers early, combined with some solid finishing on the offensive end to catapult them to a 28-6 lead after one quarter.
But the Devils weren’t done. They continued to pour it on, outhustling Olathe in virtually every phase of the game, especially offensive rebounding and scrapping for loose balls. The Devils were everywhere in what coach Phil Cain called “another good team effort.”
“We wanted to concentrate on our rotations on defense and being patient on offense,” said Cain. “I thought we did that, particularly in the first half.”
Taking a 50-13 lead into the locker room at halftime, it would have been easy for Eagle Valley to come out and relax in the second half. But, the Devils continued their onslaught until the final buzzer sounded.
“We had a big lead at halftime, so when we went into the locker room Coach told us we needed to stay focused,” said senior guard Jared Schlegel, who finished the night with 16 points. “Later on this season, we will be in games that are closer at halftime and we will have to come out strong in the second half.”
Schlegel was not the only Devil to stand out in the box score on Friday night. Junior Cody Gerard employed a deft touch around the hoop to lead the team with 25 points. Senior Sean Bartlett was a stalwart on the defensive side of the ball and also managed to drop in 13 points. And, junior forward Peter Berg came off the bench with some impressive rebounding to go along with his seven points.
Coach Cain has high hopes for his team as they enter their Christmas Break before returning to action Jan. 9 on the road against Gunnison.
“When this team is playing well, they are playing within the system,” said Cain. “We need to stay in the system and play up to our ability regardless of who we are playing.”
Last night’s win takes the Devils’ overall record to 2-2, and their league record to 1-0.
Girls battle hard, hold on to win
The Eagle Valley girls’ basketball team notched an impressive team victory Friday night with a 44-40 win over the visiting Olathe Lady Pirates.
The Lady Devils kept fans, and coach Mike Vidakovich, on the edge of their seats squandering an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead, only to seal the victory with a Kenzie Shreeve steal and a pair of Trista Sandoval free throws.
“That was a little closer than we wanted at the end,” said Vidakovich. “But the girls played a great game tonight and everyone on the team deserves a lot of credit.”
Eagle Valley came out in a full court press right away, which flustered the Olathe backcourt. However, for the numerous turnovers created in the first quarter, the Lady Devils had only an 11-9 lead to show for it after one.
“The press worked well at first,” said Vidakovich. “But they seemed to catch on to it which forced us to get into a good half-court offense, which I thought we did a good job of.”
Sandoval spearheaded the Lady Devil’s “point-guard-by-committee approach,” by bringing the ball up the floor. Meanwhile, Shreeve provided plenty of muscle in the post on both offense and defense.
“It always starts with Kenzie for us,” said Vidakovich. “She does a lot of good things for us offensively and defensively.”
Olathe made a number of runs in the second half, but a strong Eagle Valley defense held down Lady Pirate’s top-scorer Pearl Roberts.
With time winding down, Olathe would try one more time to get it to Roberts. However, a well-executed defensive shift by Shreeve would put her in position to intercept the ball and help close the deal for the Lady Devils, who are now 2-2 overall, and 1-0 in the league and travel to Gunnison on Jan. 9, for their first game of the new year.