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Rifle girls dispatch Huskies

EAGLE-VAIL – Rifle fans could not have asked for a better start to the 4A Slope season for their girls basketball team.The Bears made it a weekend sweep of Eagle County’s teams this weekend with a 58-33 win at Battle Mountain Saturday night. The night before, Rifle took care of Eagle Valley in Garfield County. “It’s a really good start for us,” Bears coach Jack Smith said. “We’re a really young team. I usually start three sophomores and two juniors. They’re playing really well.”One of those sophomores is Kendall Babler who led all scorers with 20 points Saturday.”Kendall’s picking her game up,” Smith said. “I like Kendall’s game. I like how it’s going. She’s been picking up a little more all the time.””We were really nervous, but we were ready,” Babler said. “In the preseason, we weren’t doing really well. So, we were just ready. We were hyper before the game. We have confidence in ourselves. We might be small, but we’re fast. We believe in ourselves.”It was tight early, but Babler and Kristin Guettler put together a quick six-point run at the end of the first quarter to give Rifle a 14-5 lead. Rifle’s perimeter game put this one away in the second period. Babler had two treys and Guettler (13 points total) had another from downtown, and the Bears were up 32-16 at the break.For Battle Mountain, it was a tough weekend. Lauren Prewitt and Kaeli Hosler led the Huskies with 12 points each.”As far as this weekend, it was tough coming back from the break,” Ernesto Arredondo said. “It’s a long break. … It is tough to come back and get these women to actually start playing again. We’re improving slowly. It’s going to take some time.”While Rifle (2-0 in the Slope and 5-5 overall) hosts Glenwood Springs Tuesday at 6 p.m., the Huskies (0-2, 2-6) head to Gypsum for the first of two this season against archrival, Eagle Valley at 6 p.m. Arredondo says inside play will be key against the Devils.”It’s a tough place to play,” he said. “They don’t have a big man like we do. Our big man should be able to go in there and score 17-20 points. We should at least beat them inside. If they’re going to kill us from the 3, that’s fine. But we should be able to pound them inside.”


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