BOULDER - When it looks like a football score, that's usually a good thing for Vail Christian girls basketball.
Thus, we give you the Saints beating Shining Mountain, 26-19, Wednesday night down in Boulder, and, no, head coach Doug Bruce did not kick the extra points.
If you've been anywhere near Vail Christian's gym in Edwards when the ladies play, you know that Bruce emphasizes defense, defense and little more defense on top of that. So the coach was pleased with the ladies allowing just 19 points, not to mention the fact that the Saints were coming off Christmas break.
"That was one of my biggest concerns," Bruce said. "This was Shining Mountain's third game after Christmas and our first. We were a little rough offensively, but we had really good defense again."
In five games, the Saints have allowed an average of 25. 8 points per game and that equals a 4-1 record.
Maria Gonzalez had her "best game of the year," according to Bruce, with four rebounds and eight points. More contributions came from Jessie Hartley (eight rebounds), Paris Baker (four rebounds and eight points) and Kristen Currey (six rebounds and four points).
And no one can accuse the Saints of playing a cupcake nonconference schedule. The Saints host Gilpin County (7-0 and No. 8 in Class 1A in The Denver Post Poll) Friday night at 6. That's also a rematch of last year's regional playoff game, won by the Eagles. Saturday, Vail Christian is at Jim Elliot Christian, which is also 7-0.
Lions surge past Saints
BOULDER - Two ranked teams played Wednesday night and Vail Christian boys basketball was one of them.
For the first time in school history, the Saints are in The Denver Post Poll at No. 8 and they lost a tough one, 57-45, to No. 1 Shining Mountain Wednesday. Vail Christian led, 21-16, at the half, and, 38-30, after three before the Lions went off for 27 points in the final stanza.
"They caught fire," Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. "That wasn't bad defense. That's the No. 1 team in the state. One can't complain. That's very encouraging."
It wasn't a bad way for the Saints (4-2) to come out of the gate in 2013. Vail Christian was also playing with a shortened bench with a nagging injury to Gunnar Wilson, while Nigel Johnsen was down and out with the flu.
Robby Bowles and Zach Linder each had 13 points, while the latter also had 11 boards. Kevin Boselli was just short of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
The Saints host Gilpin County at 7:30 p.m.
Devils smash Summit
FARMER'S KORNER - The boys tend to get the headlines down in Gypsum, but Eagle Valley appears to have two pretty good basketball teams.
The Devils girls basketball team is 7-3 overall and 4-1 in the 4A Western Slope after dusting Summit County, 57-30, Tuesday night in Farmer's Korner.
"It took us a while to shake the rust off," Eagle Valley coach Sam Bartlett said. "Our first quarter was not really what we were looking for. In the second and third quarters, we really put pressure on the ball and got in their passing lanes."
Said defense turned into points as the Devils had three scorers in double-digits - Lauren Thorpe (17), Taylor Martin (12) and Mariel Gutierrez (10).
Like the gents, the ladies are off until Jan. 18 when they head to Steamboat Springs. The games will come at seemingly warp speed after that.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.