EDWARDS - Vail Christian boys basketball put its best foot forward to introduce Hotchkiss to the 2A Western Slope Friday night.
The Saints downed the Bulldogs, 65-44, in the league opener for both teams. The visitors were playing their first game in their new league after dropping down from the 3A Slope.
The first important figure for the Saints was 44 points allowed. That's big for a team that can score points with anyone, but has had its share of difficulties defending on the other end.
To that end, Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns was happy with the way Gunnar Wilson defended in Vail Christian's press, jump-starting the offense in the second quarter. Kuhns also handed out props to Nigel Johnsen, who was a big spark off the bench defending as well.
And just in case anyone was worried, Robby Bowles can still shoot the rock. The senior had 26 points, and five of his six 3-balls came in the second half to send Hotchkiss packing.
All is not perfect yet. While Wilson, Branden Currey and Zach Linder each had five rebounds Friday night, the Saints need to work on the glass, another point of concern.
"One disappointment was that we didn't rebound as well as we could," Kuhns said. "Our man-to-man defense and our half-court trap worked pretty well, but they got a lot of second chances. I'd say half of their 44 points were on second chances."
The sound you just heard are the hoop bubbles coming out for practice this week.
Nonetheless, a good win for the Saints (2-1), who had 15 points from Kevin Boselli and 13 from Wilson.
In the lidlifter, the Lady Saints dropped their first game of the season to the visiting Bulldogs, 35-26.
It was bad timing for the first loss of the season since that was the league game against Hotchkiss, but Vail Christian was adjusting to a new point guard who replaced a new point guard, if you can follow that.
Freshman Remy Beveridge, obviously a new point guard, started the year at No. 1, but she hurt her knee and she's out for the season. That meant Gracen McGuckin is you new Saints point guard, which caused a further shuffling of the lineup.
"We had trouble with the press because we had girls in different places from last weekend," Saints coach Doug Bruce said. "That's why we had a little trouble, but I was really pleased with the effort and the way the girls played."
The Saints and Bulldogs were knotted at 19 at the half, so it's not hard seeing more good things from Vail Christian (2-1).
McGuckin finished the night with nine points and Kristin Currey had eight.
Both Saints teams host North Park one week Dec. 15.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.