Vail Valley preps: Huskies girls hoops wins, snaps skid |

Vail Valley preps: Huskies girls hoops wins, snaps skid

LEADVILLE -There should have been a sheriff’s escort greeting the team on Highway 24, perhaps a marching band playing on the side of the road. Bells should be pealing this morning.

Battle Mountain girls basketball is in the win column. The Huskies dropped Lake County, 42-25, Tuesday, snapping a 58-game losing streak, dating back to Jan. 22, 2008.

“It’s so great,” said senior Keely Graskamp, who was a freshman in the program when the varsity last won. “It boosts our confidence. It brightens everything.”

For historical value, 19 days prior to Battle Mountain’s last win, the junior senator from Illinois won the Iowa caucus, while the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic Party nomination for president, Hillary Clinton, finished third. Technically, the economy had just gone into a recession, even though most of the country hadn’t heard of sub-prime loans or had any idea that the world’s financial markets were going to implode.

“I think the greatest thing about breaking the losing streak is that we won as a team,” Huskies coach Andrew Schmid said. “Kenia Olivas is injured with a concussion, She’s a huge part of our team. With her gone, they really pulled through as a team.”

Battle Mountain’s last win came against Eagle Valley, 43-38, at the old campus in Eagle-Vail. Emily LyBarger led the Huskies with 13 points. That Tuesday in January was probably better known for its nightcap in which Eagle Valley’s Cesar Castillo sank a 3 at the buzzer to lift the Devils to a 57-55 victory in the boys’ game.

Lake County took a 5-3 lead after the first quarter. Battle Mountain led 16-13 at the half. The Huskies buried the Panthers with 28 points in the second half to raise their record to 1-5.

Katia Lopez led Battle Mountain with 11 points. Shauna Roberts and Misha Harrison each had eight, while White ended with seven and Keely Graskamp six.

Schmid said he felt this was coming with the way the Huskies had been playing earlier this season. Battle Mountain lost a close game to Vail Christian nearly two weeks ago and led Coal Ridge at the half last week.

“We have something special with this group of girls,” Schmid said. “They are a lot different than teams past. They want to win, and will do anything to get it. They just keep fighting because they know they deserve to win.”

While a road game at Basalt looms Thursday before the home opener Saturday against Monte Vista, don’t blame the Huskies if they enjoy this for a bit. It’s been a tough road to play for a team that’s gone through such a streak.

“There’ve been a lot of frustrating times, but then you see the improvement on the court even when we’ve been at our lowest,” Graskamp said. “That’s given us a chip on our shoulder that helped us through tonight.”

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

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