Vail Valley Preps: Devils snuff out Tigers, 55-33 |

Vail Valley Preps: Devils snuff out Tigers, 55-33

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GYPSUM, Colorado – It’s the most terrifying game on the schedule, and it’s not against the top team in the conference or the No. 1-ranked team in the state.

It’s the first game after the holiday break, and it’s even more terrifying when it comes on the first day back from vacation.

Eagle Valley boys basketball passed the test with flying colors Monday night, knocking off Summit County, 55-33, to open up 2010.

“It’s hard coming back the first day,” Devils forward Willie Magdziuk said. “It’s Christmas break. We’ve been resting. Then it’s a change of pace coming back. They were primarily a guard team, so we tried to pressure them, limit their 3s. It took a little time to get in a groove.”

The Devils (3-6) used defense to break open a tight 24-21 game at the half. Summit was 4-for-12 from beyond the arc in the first half and had only one 3 in the final 16 minutes.

“Because of our experience, we don’t see the whole defense yet,” Devils coach Pat Gabriel said. “It’s a hard thing to teach because so many things are possible. It’ll come with time.”

Up just 34-30 with a minute to go in the third quarter, Magdziuk had consecutive steals and buckets on his way to a 10-point night. Eagle Valley’s Nate Barker had a layin as the buzzer ended the third. He then added a three-point play to start the fourth as a part of a game-high 20.

That gave the Devils a 43-30 lead and Eagle Valley cruised to its second consecutive win. With Zeth Ramsey finishing the evening with nine points and Troy Harris chipping in seven, the Devils hope to have the makings of a balanced offense as conference play starts Friday.

Meanwhile for the young Tigers, who have four freshmen suiting up for varsity, Monday night – the first half in particular – was a good experience.

“We learned that we can play with the teams that are a little bit older and a little bit bigger than us,” Summit coach Mark Ruybal said. “Every step for us is a learning process right now. We’re going to build from this and we’re better than we were last game.”

Freshman Coy Coker led the Tigers (1-8) with 11 points. Summit is home Wednesday at 7 p.m. for Jeffco play against Wheatridge.

The Devils start the 4A Slope with a Northern swing this weekend. Friday, Eagle Valley is at Moffat County before heading to Steamboat Springs Saturday.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via

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