The ‘We’ve got to play four quarters’ column |

The ‘We’ve got to play four quarters’ column

Chris Freud

If I had a nickel for every time one of our high school basketball coaches said something to the effect of “We’ve got to play four quarters,” I’d be retired and living in a sunbelt golf community right now.

Yeah, I’d probably be playing TPC Scottsdale, instead of writing this column. (I played the stadium hole, No. 16, in 2011 and my 9-iron, the shot, not the club, went into the front right bunker. I booed myself, but did get out of the trap and came away with a bogey.)

It’s a natural coaching reaction, this time of year, as teams are still searching for the magical elixir. Since I’m not golfing, I’m here to help.

Eagle Valley

So far, so good, for the ladies, even though coach Sam Bartlett did bemoan his team’s play in the fourth quarter against Steamboat … because coaches always do that. (Another nickel for Freud.)

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What I like about this team is that the Devils are getting scoring from people not named Kylie Martin. Miss Kylie, please do keep dumping your 20 or so, but Ashley Floyd (Go ’Hawks this weekend), Regan Bossow, Victoria Schwaiger and, recently, Ashlee DuBeau are providing balance — both with the transition game and in the halfcourt.

This is key because the Slope adjusts the second time through. Teams are going to put two or three defenders on Martin as the season progresses. Balance remains crucial for this crew.

There was really no greater argument for the “We’ve got to play four quarters” than the Devils boys game against Steamboat on Tuesday. Although coach Chris Walls will never be in the same area code in heated postgame as Dennis Green in his famous tirade, what the former Cardinals coach said rings true — “(The Sailors) are who we thought they are, and we let them off the hook.”

The Devils had a minute or two lapse, and Ethan Riniker dropped two 3s, the Sailors took the lead and that was that. The lesson is no let up. Make a mistake once, guys, but don’t make it twice. Learn and grow, fellas.

Beat Rifle today.

Battle Mountain

The corollary of the “We’ve gotta play four quarters” motif is if I got a nickel for every time Huskies boys coach Phil Tronsrue says, “Most definitely,” in postgame, I’d be wealthy enough for membership at Augusta National. (Quite the upgrade from TPC Scottsdale.)

What Tronsrue’s team most definitely has to do is play big. The Huskies have size. Now use it. When you played like the big trees you are, you had Glenwood Springs on the run. It’s not good enough just to be tall. Be in the right position, deny the lane and get the hands up outside, and you’re going to leave a mark.

Battle Mountain’s ladies are much in the same boat as the Devils boys. There’s a lot of potential, and I hate that word because potential does not guarantee results. Work does.

What strikes me most about the Battle Mountain girls is that they have size. The Huskies ladies never, ever have size. Use it.

Beat Palisade today.

Vail Christian

Great start to 2016 for the Saints gents, and that’s all it is, fellas. Of course, the Saints are, by no means, young. Never would we say that. They are age-challenged or upperclassmen-deficient (apart, of course, from Alex Davis and Logan Raitt).

Whatever you call them, how do you handle success? How do you cope with being the hunted? Being 3-0 in the Gore League is as much a challenge as 0-3.

You are still in the “Show me Stage.” (A reminder for all six teams involved — this is the second week of January — not March, which is the point of the exercise.)

By contrast, the ladies of Vail Christian have had a hard-luck start to 2016 with tight losses to West Grand and Soroco. Your test is one of resolve, one for which you should be well-equipped with a decidedly not young roster.

Beat DeBeque today.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, and @cfreud.

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