Rifle squads sweep Huskies
EAGLE-VAIL – What’s the best way to shake off some rust? With a pair of Rusts.After a shaky first half, Rifle used solid offense at the hands of Tyler and Scott Rust to beat Battle Mountain 77-56 Saturday night.”Battle Mountain gave us fits,” said Rifle head coach Chris Lowther. “They played confident, and we just needed to settle down in the second half and take care of business.”Rifle moved the ball quickly up court, and strung together precision passes to find open shots.”That’s what we work on all the time – playing fast and playing smart,” Lowther said. “That’s something that’s hard to do, but for the most part, we do OK with it.”The Bears spread out the scoring, with four in double digits.”All of our guards – I’m comfortable when they have the ball. Every single one can handle it, which is why we don’t necessarily say one guy is a point guard,” Lowther said.Tyler Rust led Rifle with 21 points. Scott Rust and Keenan Ross each had 13, while Drew Blatchford added 10.Thanks to some tight defense, the Huskies were able to limit the Rust brothers to less than their 50 point outburst against the Huskies in the previous meeting.”It’s hard to control the Rust kids, but we didn’t let them go wild,” said Battle Mountain coach Phil Tronsrue.Zach Adamson had a big game for the Huskies, netting 22, including a trio of first-half shots from beyond the arc. Late in the second quarter, Adamson drained a three to cut the Bears’ lead to three, then hit a jumper on the following possession after a Bears’ basket to bring the Huskies within a trey again. Rifle cooled off Battle Mountain’s offense in the second half with tight defense and rebounding.”In the first half, they did such a great job of driving to the basket on us,” Lowther said. “We just wanted to prevent them from getting the drives and forced them to take difficult shots on every possession.”Tronsrue hopes the next time his team plays a great first half, they can follow up with a full performance. “We need to do that all the time,” he said. “I (told them) you really need to analyze and see why you came out like that in the second half. You should be really feeling good, pumped up again, and ready to get after it, but know they are going to bring the pressure a little harder, but just handle it.”With the win, Rifle moves to 6-5 in the Class 4A Western Slope, and the Huskies drop to 0-11.
When the Rifle girls get rolling, there’s not much anyone can do to stop them. Battle Mountain did a great job of slowing down the Bears’ attack for two quarters, but Rifle overpowered the Huskies in the final half of the game, cruising to a 65-38 win.”We came out a little slow, but Battle Mountain came out strong, too,” said Rifle head coach Brad Skinner. “We shot a very low percentage for a lot of the first half, but we had a lot of steals and rebounds. I knew we were doing the right things, and if we kept working, the shots would fall.”While the Bears’ offense stumbled for a bit in the first half, the Huskies nailed key shots to cut an early 16-8 deficit to 20-17 a few seconds before the half. But after a turnover, the Bears stormed back down, and Kendall Babler drained a three to give her team a six-point cushion and put the offense back on track.”They outran us and outhustled us all second half,” said Battle Mountain head coach Andrew Schmid. “They are a very fast team and ran the floor well.”Rifle scored lots of points in transition and off quick inbound plays.”That’s the goal. Let’s get in the passing lanes, let’s get those quick transition baskets and finish. We had a lot of good looks in the first half, and we didn’t finish,” Skinner said.Babler had nine assists, as well as 12 points and six rebounds. The Bears’ Kristin Guettler had a game-high 17 points, while teammate Alissa Skinner was also in the double digits with 10 points.
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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.