No shock: Huskies advance to Round 2
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The news arrived in Steamboat about an hour before game time Friday.No. 13 Summit had upset No. 4-seed and the defending state champ, Air Academy, in Round 1 of the state hockey playoffs.”It might have even scared them a little bit,” said Battle Mountain hockey coach Gary Defina regarding the upset just before the Huskies faced Mitchell Friday in Routt County. “We could lose this game.”The No. 3 Huskies made sure there would not be another big shocker by bouncing No. 14 Mitchell, 4-2, to advance to today’s state quarters at 1:15 p.m. against Rampart, 3-2 winners against Steamboat in the nightcap of the regional.”It’s kind of the same as the beginning of the year. It’s a young team with jitters at the beginning of the playoffs,” Defina said. “They don’t have a lot of experience. But it’s good to get that one behind us.”After a slow, scoreless first period, which Defina attributed to Steamboat’s Olympic-sized ice sheet, the Huskies got cranking. Early in the second, Jason Funk deftly deflected a Jonny Stevens’ shot in for a 1-0 lead.
Casey Kleisinger got the next two, and the Huskies were seemingly cruising before the Marauders struck twice on the power play. But Battle Mountain dominated the final 15 minutes, outshooting Mitchell, 13-1. Along the way, Taylor Beairsto iced the game with a helper from Andreas Apostal.Foster Fox got his first postseason win between the pipes.Defina’s three stars were: 1) Kleisinger, 2) Stevens and 3) Kyle Woods.After the game, the Huskies scouted Rampart during its win against the host Sailors.”They have one great forward (Donald Geary) who scores all their goals. He had two of the three (goals against Steamboat),” Defina said. “They have one good defenseman – (Nick Contino). They’re not deep. They seem to tire at the end of he game and their goalie didn’t look all that strong. Hopefully, we can take advantage of those things.”Boys basketball downs Palisade
PALISADE – The bad news is that Glenwood Springs won Friday night at Moffat County.”But you know what’s even better than that,” Battle Mountain boys basketball coach Philip Tronsrue asked. “Battle Mountain won.”With Glenwood Springs’ win and Battle Mountain’s 60-53 win at Palisade, it all comes down to the final day of the season.Both teams are 12-1 in the 4A Slope. Glenwood hosts Steamboat Springs today, while Delta is in Eagle-Vail against the Huskies at 5:30 p.m. If both teams win, they will be co-champs of the league. Obviously, the Huskies are hoping for a little help from Steamboat. In either case, if the Huskies beat the Panthers, they will capture the first boys basketball title in school history.”Obviously, it’s going to be an emotional night because it’s our Senior Night, but we have to come ready to play,” Tronsrue said. “We’ve got to not think about anything else. We have to worry about our own selves. Where the chips fall, the chips fall. We can’t worry about what Glenwood’s doing.”The Huskies took care of business nicely at Palisade. Without the services of center Trent Beckley, out for the weekend with an injured right thumb, the Huskies had to adjust.
Derek Rush popped a 3 to give the Huskies a 20-17 lead at the half.”The first half. we kind of struggled,” Tronsrue said. “Palisade played zone the whole night – a 1-3-1, slipping into a 2-3 a few times. The first half, we weren’t getting good looks and we were trying to force it a little bit. The second half, we came out and were a little more patient, moved the ball a bit better and took some good shots.”Connor Drumm picked up 19 points, while Rush had 17 and Josh Ruark 12. The Huskies pulled away with a 24-point fourth quarter.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado