Summit boys too much for Eagle Valley basketball
GYPSUM — Somebody’s “oh” had to go on Thursday night in Gypsum, and the Summit County boys basketball team was the one to break into the win column with a 71-40 victory over Eagle Valley.
Despite their posts, Merrick Crispell and Zach Johnson, being in foul trouble for a good portion of the game, the Tigers overcame a 22-17 deficit after one quarter.
When your big guys are on the bench, it really doesn’t hurt to have a guy like Summit senior Jason Engel, who shot the lights out from beyond the arc. He knocked down two 3s — he had seven from downtown on the night — to start the second quarter.
“When you can hit from the perimeter, it spreads the defense, and everything opens up,” Summit coach Phil Tronsrue said. “With them having foul trouble, we went small, more guards, so that gave us driving lanes.”
Justin Jacobi’s not too bad either. He finished the first half with a five-point burst of his own as the Tigers (1-7 overall and 1-1 in the Slope) went into the locker room with a 37-25 lead.
Eagle Valley (0-10, 0-4) got to within nine points in the third quarter with a Jimmy Murphy lay-up and a 3-point play from Nick Martinez.
Summit answered with senior Thomas DeBonville, who’s made a high school career of beating up on Eagle County teams in assorted sports, and another trey by Engel. DeBonville had five points in the third quarter, while Riley Beck added two field goals to end the period.
Engel led all scorers with 21 points.
“It’s great for us,” said Engel, who has been sporting a facemask because of a broken nose in the preseason. “We needed this. We did what we needed to do. I was feeling it tonight. But our whole team was feeling it. It was a team effort.”
Devils girls bounce back for win
And everything was a lot better 48 hours later.
Eagle Valley girls basketball looked much stronger in its second outing after the holiday break, dispatching Summit County, 50-34, on Thursday night in Gypsum.
After a disjointed outing in a loss to Glenwood Springs on Tuesday, the Devils were sharper against the Tigers. Not only did some of the shots start to fall — Eagle Valley missed 20 attempts from the paint on Tuesday — but they came from all over the roster, an encouraging sign as 4A Slope play resumes in earnest.
“Our press looked good,” Devils coach Sam Bartlett said. “We were getting up and down the court. We were still missing a lot of easy baskets. We still have a lot of things to work on. Things were better tonight, but we’re going to be humble in victory. We know we are far from a finished product.”
The Devils started the night with a Katie McKay 3. McKay was one of many good names to see on the scoresheet with eight points with Taylor Martin down with the flu.
A Kylie Martin 3-point play — the Martin family is always represented — and a Carly Volkmer lay-up kept that momentum going.
Up 13-8 after one, the Devils (8-2 overall and 3-1 in the Slope) erupted for 17 points during the next eight minutes. Victoria Schwaiger got in on the act with a slick jumper, as did Ashley Floyd. Mariel Gutierrez and Volkmer scored the final five points of the half as the Devils led the Tigers, 30-16.
The play of the night came in the third quarter when Gutierrez, ever a pest to opponents, got a steal and weaved her way through Summit traffic. She likely had the shot, but deftly tossed it off to Schwaiger for a bucket.
Offense from multiple players will be big for Eagle Valley as teams in the Slope play twice, and it’s not hard to see opponents sitting on Kylie Martin, who had 21 points on Tuesday, in the paint as the season progresses.
While the Devils already had their first game of the calendar year out of the way, the Tigers were making their 2015 debut.
“Coming off the break, a couple of our practices were a little low, and yesterday’s practice actually went really well,” Summit coach Colton St. Peter said. “I had a good feeling coming in. I thought it could go one of two ways. We could hang with them until the end or it might go south. We ended up doing the first one. We were within 10 points a lot of the game.”
Autumn Ward led the Tigers with 12 points.
Summit County’s girls (3-4, 0-2) head to Denver West on Saturday for a nonconference tilt, while the gents next play at Battle Mountain on Tuesday. Eagle Valley’s teams have some time off before heading down to Rifle a week from today.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.