Vail Christian hoops takes down Mustangs
Saints at DeBeque today
EDWARDS — You can’t out-Jamo Jamo, people.
That’s a fact. So how did West Grand boys basketball, all clad in light-purple Nike LeBrons, think it was going to come into the Wheeler Athletic Center, where those same LeBrons only work for Vail Christian senior point guard Jamison Lee?
“I wanted to be different, and I wanted to stand out,” said Lee, who got a pair of those sneakers for Christmas. “I thought they looked cool.”
They do on Lee, West Grand. Come on, Mustangs, why are you trying to bust up a guy’s look by all wearing the same shoes, his shoes?
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Lee’s Nike LeBrons won the day as the Saints beat the Mustangs, 59-41, Friday on their way to a showdown at DeBeque today.
Lee is a part of Vail Christian’s Big Three, along with Alec Moritz and Hayden Sticksel. But sophomore Jesse Gonzales of late has been playing like he wants to make that a quartet.
After a slow start by Vail Christian standards, the sophomore reeled off seven straight points — two layups sandwiching a 3-ball.
“We both live in Eagle, and we go to the gym all the time,” Lee said of Gonzales. “He’s developing into a great basketball player. It’s great to watch and it’s great for our team.”
Sticksel then concluded the first quarter with a contender for play of the year. He was driving through the lane, took a little contact (no foul) and was going to the floor on his right side. He threw it up from nearly floor level and this perfectly designed layup went for two and a 15-4 lead after eight minutes.
Lee took over the second quarter with 10 straight points, including two 3s of his own, because, as Spike Lee said a long time ago, “It’s gotta be the shoes.”
Vail Christian (10-1 overall and 5-0 in the Slope) did not play its best game of the season, but not every outing can be a Picasso.
“Credit to West Grand,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “They tried to muddy up the game with a four corners offense and a few other things. They messed with us a little.”
And here comes DeBeque
You might remember DeBeque from previous episodes of Vail Christian basketball, such as the Dragons’ 64-60 victory in Edwards last year. That was the Saints’ only loss in the combined 2A/1A Slope last winter.
“It definitely left a bad taste in my mouth,” Lee said.
The Dragons went on to win the 1A state title in March, while the 2A Saints hosted a regional tournament for the first time in school history.
Basketball wunderkind Brennan Rigsby has taken his talents to Utah, aka transferred. However, Wes Ryan, the reigning Class 1A Player of the Year, remains, and as Saints fans found out last year, he’s serious trouble.
The Dragons have won 38 in a row dating back to the beginning of last season and are the No. 2-ranked team in 1A in the rating-percentage index. Not that anyone would be surfing the Internet in Edwards, but the Saints were No. 7 prior to Friday night’s contest in 2A.
“They’re on a 38-game winning streak,” Kuhns said. “That doesn’t happen by accident. We’re playing on the road in the Western Slope. We’re going to have to bring our A-game, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
The Vail Christian girls’ basketball team continued its struggles with a 53-40 loss to West Grand.
Grace McCurdy’s 17 points and 14 from Zoey Barela were bright spots for the Saints (4-9, 1-4).
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Nearly 500 people participate in a Black Lives Matter event in Vail Village on Wednesday