Vail Valley preps wrap for Friday |

Vail Valley preps wrap for Friday

GYPSUM – The early returns have Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs likely battling it out for the 4A Slope boys basketball title.

But Eagle Valley may have a say in things before its done, and the Devils certainly said a lot in a 65-43 pasting of Moffat County Friday night in Gypsum.

“It feels really good to know we can play well enough to play against the top echelon in our league. We get to measure ourselves now against Steamboat tomorrow, with Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain left on our schedule (in the first half),” Devils coach Brent McConaghy said. “We finally played our style of defense.”

That defense produced 22 turnovers, and that will generally get the job done. It also doesn’t hurt to get the offense cranking with Tim Wells pouring in 19 points, and Sam Lounsberry adding 14.

Eagle Valley is 2-1 in the 4A Slope and 5-7 overall. For those counting at home, the Devils have already won more games this year than in all of last season (three).

In the lid-lifter in Gypsum, the Eagle Valley girls basketball team gave the Bulldogs a good fight in a 43-31 loss.

Eagle Valley only trailed Moffat, 21-19 at the half.

“We played a solid game,” Devils girls basketball coach Sam Bartlett said. “We came out with a good effort tonight. We’re still working on taking care of the ball, and turnovers were probably the difference. I think we need to work on going out there with the mindset of making plays, instead of trying to avoid mistakes.”

Kayla Gagnon led the Devils with 17 points.

Eagle Valley is at Steamboat Springs today at 2 and 3:30 p.m.

Huskies hockey grounds Kadets

VAIL- Just when you think Battle Mountain hockey is having a down year, the Huskies go out and prove you wrong.

Battle Mountain knocked off longtime rival Air Academy, 3-2, Friday night at Dobson Arena in Vail. This was a nonconference win because of CHSAA realignment, but still just what the doctor ordered.

The Huskies built a 3-0 lead against the Kadets on a power-play goal by Daniel Westerberg, and then markers by Jordan Goldstein and Otto Jordan.

Air Academy’s Adam Palamet and Nick Law scored late for the Kadets.

Battle Mountain (3-7) hosts what will likely be an angry Regis squad at 6 p.m. at Dobson. Regis dropped an 8-7 decision to Rampart in overtime Friday night.

Saints sweep Gilpin County

EDWARDS – Quick now. What Eagle County girls basketball team has the best record?

That would be Vail Christian at 5-2 after the Saints knocked off Gilpin County, which entered the game with a 7-1 record, 39-31, Friday night in Edwards.

“We got down early, 12-4, in the first quarter, but we scored the last seven points of the period,” Saints coach Doug Bruce said. “I thought we started playing really well in the second and the third quarter.”

And they did so without senior Dakota Francis, who will be out for a few weeks with a sprained knee. Ashlyn Gruber scored 15 points. Alexis Ellsworth is working her way back with seven points after missing December with an appendectomy. Kylie Alexander and Tracey Salgado each had six points.

Meanwhile, the Saints boys basketball team picked up its rebounding in a 78-66 win over the Eagles Friday night.

Yes, the offensive numbers were quite lovely, but Zach Linder had nine boards and Robby Bowles had eight after Vail Christian was swamped on the glass in a loss Tuesday to Hayden.

“We’ve made rebounding a point of emphasis,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “It’s tonight and every game of the year. We’ve got to make that priority No. 1. When the ball’s in the air, we box out and get to the glass.”

Fernando Hernandez had a whopping 26 points, while Linder had 20. Those are both career-bests. Bowles had a pretty good night, too, with 18.

Vail Christian hosts Soroco today at 4 and 5:30 p.m.

VMS falls at Paonia

PAONIA – Sean McKeever nearly had the first triple-double in VMS basketball history Friday night.

He had 11 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocks at Paonia, though VMS, playing its first year of varsity basketball, fell to the Eagles, 75-36.

“We’re a young squad and we’re slowly getting experience,” VMS coach Vinny Cisneros said. “Paonia was a very good physical team and very athletic.”

VMS hosts Plateau Valley today at 4 p.m.

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

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