Turnovers haunt Eagle Valley girls in loss to Moffat County | VailDaily.com

Turnovers haunt Eagle Valley girls in loss to Moffat County

Ian Smith
Vail CO Colorado

GYPSUM, Colorado – Empty possessions can make coaches pull their hair out.

Eagle Valley coach Ken Reagan is lucky he didn’t look like Mr. Clean after Friday night’s girls’ basketball game.

In a sloppy Slope opener, The Devils committed 32 turnovers, losing to Moffat County, 56-31, in Gypsum.

“They played good defense, but I think we were kind of rushing ourselves,” Reagan said. “We just weren’t getting the job done. That’s what it came down to.”

Eagle Valley’s offensive woes were caused by an equal combination of Moffat County pressure and poor ball-handling. On their first five possessions of the game, The Devils gave the ball away. By the end of the first half, Eagle Valley had committed 22 turnovers.

“We are pretty quick,” Moffat County coach Craig Mortensen said. “We are going to have to do it defensively (this year). We have to play good defense and keep the score low.”

The Bulldogs started to take advantage of the Devils’ miscues in the second quarter. Alicia Nelson started the period with a 3-pointer to give Moffat County a 12-8 lead. A couple possessions later, Amanda Synder drilled another 3-pointer.

Nelson added one more trey before the end of the half to send the game into the break with the Bulldogs holding a 30-15 edge.

“We are going to put them up,” Mortensen said. “We have some kids that can shoot the three. We just hope some of them go in.”

Turnovers weren’t the problem for Eagle Valley after the half. Getting the ball through the hoop was. Poor shooting gave the Devils little chance at a comeback.

Sierra Pickslay-Zamora picked off a pass and raced down the court for a layup to cut the deficit to 30-17. Later, Kacey Bair found her sister, Jamie, under the hoop for two. Unfortunately for the Devils, the offense never found its rhythm.

It didn’t help matters that two Eagle Valley players were hampered by injuries in pre-game warm-ups. Emily Kingston hurt her hamstring and Kacey Bair tweaked her back.

Bair fought through the injury to lead the Devils with 11 points. Courtney Edington paced the Bulldogs with 18. Nelson added 14 for Moffat County.

Eagle Valley (2-7, 0-1) is back in action today at Steamboat Springs.

Boys struggle in loss

A fast-paced Moffat County boys basketball team attacked Eagle Valley right from the opening tip on Friday night. The Bulldogs controlled every facet of the game, routing the Devils, 69-36, in Gypsum.

Two long runs by Moffat County essentially put the game out of reach 10 minutes into the first half. The Bulldogs opened the game with a 12-0 run. After the Devils’ Zak Thrall’s three-point play, Moffat County went on a 15-0 streak to take command of the game with a 27-3 lead early in the second quarter.

“With were just playing our game ” intensity and up-tempo,” Moffat County coach Steve Maneotis said. “We feel with the experience we have, we can go out and dictate tempo. That’s our style.”

The Bulldogs continued to rack up points by beating the Devils down the court. Jordan Wilson found room inside to make it 39-8 in Moffat County’s favor. On the Bulldogs’ next trip down the floor, Wilson made a turnaround jumper.

Oscar Ramos ended the half fittingly for Moffat County with a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 47-12 halftime lead.

The Bulldogs’ transition game kept working in the third period. Chayton Owens ” who led Moffat County with 18 points ” scored three different times to build on the lead.

The Devils offense showed more life after the break, but it wasn’t enough. Thrall made a nice move inside for two to make it 49-16. Thrall scored nine points in the game.

Willie Magdziuk hit a 3-pointer later in the quarter to cut the deficit to 61-24, but Eagle Valley couldn’t cut significantly into the Bulldogs’ advantage thanks to a stifling Moffat County defense.

“We had a solid half-court defense,” Maneotis said. “We wanted to make their guards work. (Cesar) Castillo is a good guard. We wanted to challenge him, and I think it paid off.”

Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel declined comment after the game.

Eagle Valley (2-8, 0-1) is at Steamboat Springs today.

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