Rifle girls cruise against Eagle Valley
GYPSUM – Piling up a 23-9 lead in the first quarter, the Rifle girls basketball team had no trouble downing Eagle Valley 57-38 in a Class 4A Western Slope League battle Friday night.Last time the two teams met, on Jan. 6, Rifle came away with a 49-46 win. This time, the Bears didn’t let Eagle Valley stay so close. Even though the Devils (1-7 WSL, 3-12 overall) fought back in the second quarter, pulling within nine and making the score 31-20 at halftime, Rifle (5-3 WSL, 8-8 overall) came out strong in the third and widened the gap. “We got a good lead on them and the kids played real hard,” said Rifle head coach Jack Smith. “We had kind of a lull there in the second quarter, which is typical, and let them back in. But we worked hard in the third quarter and built it back up and kept it up.”Rifle’s defense was responsible for putting the game away in the third as the team forced eight Eagle Valley turnovers. Kristin Guettler had three steals in the quarter, Kendall Babler recorded two more, and the Bears outscored the Devils 12-6. By the time the third was complete, Rifle had worked to a 43-26 lead going into the final frame.”We started playing better on defense and I think Eagle Valley got a little worn down,” Smith said. “In the third and fourth quarters, they (Rifle) kept the intensity up, which I appreciate.”By the fourth quarter, Smith was able to give his bench some playing time. Lindsey Bowen led the reserves, scoring seven points, pulling down three rebounds and getting one steal.”It was fun to put them in and it’s fun for them. They understand their roles,” Smith said. “They know in a game like this they are going to get a little more playing time. In tight games I usually go with the top seven and that’s it.”Guettler finished the night as the Rifle’s top scorer, netting 15 points while Megan McWilliams and Babler each added 14. Nine of Babler’s points came from behind the 3-point arch.Amanda Padilla led Eagle Valley’s scoring, totaling 15 points and one 3-pointer. Jeannette Baker chipped in another 10 for the Devils and grabbed 10 rebounds.Rifle hosts Battle Mountain (0-8 WSL and 2-12 overall) today at 4 p.m.The results of the Rifle boys game was not available at press time.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.