PEACH VALLEY, Colorado - Both Coal Ridge and Battle Mountain are far from finished products. Countless turnovers and missed shots in Tuesday's meeting between the two boys basketball squads suggested as much.
The Huskies appear to be making some major progress, though.
Jimmy O'Rourke poured in 19 points and Joe LyBarger added 17, lifting visiting Battle Mountain to a 59-47 win in Peach Valley.
"You know, we're getting there slowly," said Huskies head coach Tommy Padilla, whose team improved to 4-0 with the non-conference triumph. "We've still got some room to improve. We haven't played our best basketball yet. We've got a new system we implemented this year, and we're just getting used to it right now."
The Titans (0-2) are lean on experience and are still in the process of finding their way.
"We're a young team, in terms of experience especially," said head coach Paul Harvey, whose squad features just two returning lettermen. "We're learning to play together. We're learning to play hard, and we're improving."
Harvey has faith it will all come together for his team.
"These kids are very coachable," he said. "They're very passionate. It's a fun group to work with."
Junior Alec Herrera led Coal Ridge with 14 points on Tuesday. Richie Winkler added nine points and Ruben Ruiz finished with eight.
Battle Mountain led 14-8 after a quarter, 25-17 at halftime and 40-32 after three.
The Huskies' focus entering this season: Limit the turnovers and play solid defense. For the most part, Padilla said, both happened on Tuesday.
"I think we did," he said. "We're still missing some backside assignments. Once we play defense, we can get up and down the court and our defense will feed our offense."
Battle Mountain will head to Middle Park for boys and girls games on Friday. Next up for Coal Ridge is a visit to Rifle on Tuesday.
Paige Ryan led a balanced attack with 14 points, lifting Coal Ridge's girls to a 63-25 win over Battle Mountain in Friday night's early varsity contest.
Cassie Blackard chipped in with 12 points, Britni Allen nine and Emma Speer eight.
"I thought we played pretty good defense," Titans coach Damon Martinez said. "That set the tone. We got a lot of transition baskets. ... The girls played well."
Coal Ridge opened up a 14-2 lead after one quarter, a frame in which the Huskies didn't put up their first points until Logan Nash sunk a mid-range shot with 2 minutes, 53 seconds left.
The hosts extended that advantage to 38-7 by halftime, coasting to an easy win.
The Titans (1-1) opened the season against Glenwood on Friday, falling to the Demons, 53-49.
Elizabeth Olivas led Battle Mountain (1-3) with 13 points.