Saints hoopsters start season strong | VailDaily.com

Saints hoopsters start season strong

Winning seems to be contagious at Vail Christian.

After a blockbuster fall, when the football team won its league and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs, while the volleyball team finished with its first winning league record, the basketball teams look like they want to follow suit.

“I think everyone’s pumped up with the athletic season we’ve had this year – having football win and volleyball win,” girls basketball’s Brooke Horan-Kates said. “We’re in the mood. We’re inspired to win.”

Boys beat Grand Valley

The Vail Christian boys basketball team picked up its first win since the 2001-02 season – and the Saints did it in style.

After an 0-18 season, 1A Vail Christian is in the win column with a 71-63 win over 2A Grand Valley’s junior-varsity Monday. The 71 points ties a school record.

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“It’s huge. It’s a big win,” Saints boys basketball coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “Not just to get a win, but to compete and be in a ball game. Last year, the guys would come to practice and work hard, but when we went into games we were losing big. It’s hard to keep motivated. The guys are excited they’re pumped.”

The Saints jumped out to a 23-6 first-quarter lead and, well, when you’re not used to winning …

“We had a great first quarter, great intensity,” Kuhns said. “Kind of what happened is we’re not used to winning. So, we didn’t know how to react and we reacted poorly.”

But, the Saints found their groove again behind 27 points from Kyle Morris, while Matt Seatvet had 22 of his own to go with 12 rebounds. Jonathan Armstead added 12.

“What I was really happy with was in the middle of the game, we kind of let down. But we finished the game strong,” Kuhns said. “They put the full court press on, which is our Achilles’ heel, and we handled it and scored some easy layups.”

The Saints went 0-2 at the Ouray Tournament, but were very competitive in the third-place game against Telluride. After being down 14 at the half, Vail Christian pulled within 64-63 with 1:48 left before the Saints committed two key turnovers. The Miners went 8-of-9 from the line and that was the ball game.

Armstead had a double-double with 11 points and 10 off the glass. Seatvet had eight and this is not a typo – Morris had another 27-point night.

What’s in your Wheaties, Kyle?

“My team’s letting me do what I do and we’re able to get it done,” Morris said. “Chemistry is definitely there. … This year, it’s come together. We’ve worked hard during the offseason.”

The Saints opened the season with a 73-45 loss to Ouray. Morris “only” had 12 points, while Armstead had another double-double.

Vail Christian hosts 4A Glenwood’s junior varsity today at 6:30 p.m., at St. Clare.

Girls start 2-1

The Vail Christian girls basketball team is off and running with a 2-1 start.

The Saints opened the season with a 42-34 win at Ouray, the first time Vail Christian has beaten the Trojans on the road.

“Without Rachel (Glandorf) last year, they beat us by 40,” Saints coach Patrick Beaudine said. “They kept pressing. To beat them is big. We started off the game with a 7-0 run. We were up, 9-2, and then they came storming back and took the lead. Our girls didn’t panic. There was a sense of total relaxation. The biggest thing I saw out of the Ouray game was the maturity of the athletes.”

The Saints settled and led 22-6 at the half. Glandorf led with 16 points and eight rebounds. Horan-Kates popped in 13 and pulled down nine rebounds. Freshman Danielle Cavanaugh had six points and eight rebounds.

Against 5A Durango’s junior varsity team, the 1A Saints fell, 72-25. But Vail Christian bounced back with a 38-22 win over Grand Valley.

Against the Cardinals, Glandorf led with 12 points, followed by Horan-Kates at nine and Lauren Mutter with seven.

The Saints host 4A Glenwood’s JV tonight at 5 p.m.

“It’s is very encouraging,” Beaudine said. “Everyone is playing well as a team. So, coming back home and playing Glenwood tomorrow is going to give us a test of how good we really are. I love this team. There’s a lot of fight in this team.”

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at cfreud@vaildaily.com.