Back to preps: Hoops and I really need to do laundry
Holy cow, we’ve got basketball.
It’s not March Madness yet, but it could be.
Eagle Valley girls basketball and both Vail Christian squads kept surging during the local sports void known as the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. On a personal note, as much as I did enjoy the races, thank the deity of one’s choosing that’s over.
Let’s talk preps — so nice to say that.
• The Devils ladies went 5-1 in February with only a loss to Palisade, not a bad one by any measure. We bring that up because the past two years, Eagle Valley faded in February to the tune of 5-13.
“I would say this February, there’s a bigger sense of urgency,” Devils head coach Sam Bartlett said. “I think we have more experience and we are more mentally prepared.”
The Devils (15-5) head to Palisade for the first round of the Western Slope/Southwest League district tournament today at 3 p.m. to face Montrose. (Go to Palisade and not Central to be at the right game.) Eagle Valley is the fifth seed and the Indians No. 4. It’s a win-and-you’re-in game. The region has four guaranteed spots in the 32-team state tournament field.
Eagle Valley should have a decent shot of snagging an at-large bid, but let’s keep this simple. The Indians are a perimeter-based team.
Ladies, rebound, get out and run and finish the easy shots.
• Vail Christian girls basketball is 11-6. The best season in school history is 12-11 in 2012. The Saints have a chance to eclipse that mark this weekend with home games against North Park, 4 p.m. on Friday, and DeBeque, 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
This is another sign that the apocalypse is near. By the way, I still don’t like Soroco very much.
• In a sign that the world is, in fact, ending — forget that an apocalypse might be coming; it’s here — the Saints guys can clinch a league title this weekend with wins against the above-mentioned Wildcats and Dragons. Yes, this team has been to the state tournament twice, but never won the league, be it the old 1A Mountain, the 2A Slope and now the 2A Gore.
I have seen this program from its infancy — its first win was over Soroco’s JV — from Kyle Morris to the Js (Jaryd Francis, Jonathan Armstead, Josh Sibley, Josh Glandorf and Jaleb Pearson. OK, Caleb). I’ve seen the post teams and then the guard teams, and the no-defense teams to what I call now, “The Ethan Era.” Said era includes players like Ethan Gould and Ethan Caballero just because.
Now let’s see a league champ.
• It’s state skiing time over the pass. It’s giant slalom and freestyle today and slalom and classic on Friday. The message for state skiing is that it is better to be lucky than good. I’m not bringing the guy up because every time I do, even though it was nearly 20 years ago, he rightfully remembers the horror and writes me.
A popped ski can turn this thing upside down. Battle Mountain alpine has the skill. Can the Huskies avoid the goofy stuff?
Step No. 2 to state is keeping it close on the Nordic side. This is always the Huskies’ downfall at state for an overall title. Have the races of your lives.
• I am not wearing a Giants shirt today. That is breaking news. Ironically, I’m wearing a T that says, “East Asian Studies: Valparaiso University.” First, this means I have to do laundry if I’m out of Giants shirts. Second, this shirt came via the Stevenson clan and James, Class of 2001 at Battle Mountain. He chased the Skimeister and his younger brother, Grant, Class of 2005, finally won it.
So, go all those in pursuit of the Skimeister. You are a noble breed.
• And let’s hear it for team United Nations, aka Battle Mountain hockey. Congratulations for making the playoffs. Now, go beat the heck out of Aspen.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.