Red Devils split with Bridger Valley schools

Dawson Crofts finds a seam and goes up for two against the Lyman Eagles in the home opener for the Red Devils on Saturday night, Jan. 12, which was also the final preseseason contest before conference play begins this Thursday, Jan. 17, with the Green River Wolves set to invade Red Devil Gym. The Red Devils split with the Bridger Valley schools on the weekend, dropping an overtime decision in Moutain View, 64-59, and defeating the Eagles, 58-25.(HERALD PHOTO/Mark Madia)

EVANSTON — The Evanston Red Devils split with the two Bridger Valley school over the weekend to end the preseason campaign with a 4-7 mark. 

Evanston traveled to Mountain View for a showdown with the 3A Mountain View Buffalos and lost in overtime, 64-59, after being deadlocked at the end of regulation, 48-48. The Buffalos jumped out to a 12-6 first quarter advantage before a raucous hometown crowd in the wooden domed gym.

The Red Devils took charge in the second quarter, outscoring the Buffs 20-8, before a near half-court jump shot from sophomore Hunter Meeks found its way through the cylinder at the buzzer to pull the Buffs within three points at the break, 29-26.

Neither squad could muster much offense in quarter number three, as the Buffs bested the Red Devils by a basket, nine points to seven, to draw within one entering the fourth quarter, 36-35. 

The Red Devils had to rely on underclassmen in the backcourt for much of the second half as starting senior guards Garrett Berger and Seth Lloyd were not in the lineup. Berger was whistled with a technical foul with a second remaining in the first half and Lloyd picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter and had to ride the bench, which allowed the Buffs to pull closer on the scoreboard. Lloyd re-entered the contest with about two minutes expired in the fourth quarter and subsequently fouled out a couple of minutes later.

With 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Red Devil senior Brady Hurd knocked down two free-throws to put Evanston out on top, 48-45. The Buffs worked the perimeter, looking for a three-point shot to tie and senior Braeden Walk, who would have the hot hand in the extra period,  fired an airball on a deep three-point attempt from about 25 feet out, due to the tenacious defense being administered by the Red Devils. Fellow Buffs’ senior Trenton Wells made a great hustle play on the baseline to save possession for Mountain View following Walk’s miss, whipping the ball into the hands of Buffs’ senior Colby Rees, who was inadvertently fouled by Red Devil junior David Baxter; Baxter regretted the foul immediately, realizing Rees didn’t have a very good look at his three-point attempt to tie the ballgame with just six-tenths of second remaining. 

Rees canned the first free-throw attempt before a timeout was called in an attempt to ice the Buffs forward. Rees calmly connected on the next two attempts, sending the ballgame into the overtime period where Mountain View outscored Evanston, 16-11, to seal the victory. 

The Buffs had hosted the Star Valley Braves the night before and lost, 60-53. The win against Evanston catapulted Mountain View to a 5-6 record in non-conference play.

Buffalo senior Kimball Madsen led all scorers, unofficially, with 17 points, followed by Walk who netted 14 for the ballgame, including 11 points in the overtime period. Senior Briggin Bluemel was right behind Walk with 13 points, while Rees finished with eight, Wells with seven and Meeks with five.

For the Red Devils, junior Dawson Crofts showed the way with a team-high 16, while Lloyd added 11 and Hurd and junior Mason Ellingford each contributed 10. Senior Lance Evans contributed seven for the Red Devil cause in the loss.

Evanston 58 Lyman 25

Things were much less dramatic for the Red Devils in the home-opener on Saturday night with Lyman in town, playing without team leader, Andrew Housekeeper, who was out of the Eagles’ lineup in concussion protocol. The Red Devils took command early and led wire-to-wire, bouncing back for a 58-25 victory before the Red Devil faithful.

Berger and Crofts paced Evanston with nine points apiece, with ten Red Devils reaching the scoring column. Both teams cleared the benches for most of the fourth quarter allowing underclassmen for both teams to finish out the game.

Lloyd and senior Chris Mueller each netted eight for Evanston, Ellingford had seven, Evans ended with six and Hurd added five. Sophomore Braxton Lind had three, while senior Cris Periman and Baxter each scored a bucket, unofficially.

Michael Kunzler ledd the Eagles with seven points, followed by Braxton Bradshaw who ended the night with five. Joseph Turner chipped in four and Kollin Rogers added three, with two points each for Jacob Woodland, Lucas Anson and Preston Brewer, to round out the Eagles’ scoring column.

The Red Devils open conference play this Thursday, Jan. 17, with conference/quadrant foe Green River traveling to Evanston for a 7:30 tap-time. The Red Devils will then venture to Afton to face the Star Valley Braves on Saturday, Jan. 19, with a scheduled 3:30 tip-off.

The Eagles are now 2-10 on the season and will open conference play at Big Piney on Friday, Jan. 18, and will host the Pinedale Wranglers on Saturday, Jan. 19. 

Mountain View will travel to Pinedale on Friday and will host the Big Piney Punchers on Saturday to open their conference/quadrant season.


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