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Crested Butte too much for Saints

EDWARDS – This was not how Senior Night was meant to go. You get introduced. You give flowers to your parents and then you win the game. Vail Christian basketball got the first two parts down, but didn’t get the critical third step as the boys fell to Crested Butte, 41-36, while the girls lost, 52-39.The Saints boys’ team had its four-game winning streak snapped. “You know how a car drives when it has a flat tire? That’s the way we played tonight,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “I don’t know if it was last night’s victory, coming back to today. We played OK in the first quarter. We had a lead, but we weren’t playing that well.”The Saints entered the game with some momentum after a big win against DeBeque Friday night. They led, 14-10, after one, and then fell into a funk more than their usual Evil Quarter Syndrome.It was a two-fold problem for the Saints. Their big men, Caleb Pearson and Jaryd Francis struggled a bit. Pearson had a good line with 15 points and 15 rebounds, but had a hard time finding his groove. Francis had just a bad night with seven points.Vail Christian also didn’t get the contributions from up and down the roster like it did during its winning streak. A.J. Burgess had eight points, but the Saints, and the visiting Titans for that matter, were focused on Pearson and Francis.

“It was a really good game. Our kids played well. Vail Christian’s a tough team. They have a lot of class,” Crested Butte coach Robin Loyed said. “It’s tough to guard those two guys, so we put our best defenders on them. They were doing real well against our zone. We had to go to our man-to-man to beat them.””They packed it in,” Kuhns said. “That’s what they did to us last time. We knew they were going to do it to us today. We knew we needed some other guys to step up and score. We just couldn’t get enough of it.”For Pearson, the team’s lone senior, it was his last game at St. Clare. Essentially a walking double-double, he has made his mark on Saints basketball.”We were 3-15 when he started, and we weren’t that good,” Kuhns said. “A lot of guys have helped build this program, but Caleb done a great job for four years. His leadership, just the way he plays makes us better. We’re going to miss that kid.”Before Pearson walks at graduation, however, the Saints still have key games next weekend at Ouray and Ridgway.Saints show improvementStill smarting from a 64-31 loss at Crested Butte last month, the Vail Christian girls’ basketball team put forth a much better showing against the league leading Titans Saturday, falling, 52-39.”Vail Christian played really well. We beat them the last time we played them by like 35 points,” (sic) Titans’ coach Marymike Haley said. “They cut that more than in half. It was a good wake-up call for my girls.”

The Saints were inspired by their play in a close loss to DeBeque Friday.”After last night when we only lost to DeBeque by three points, I think these girls understand they can play basketball, and our confidence level is rising,” Saints coach Patrick Beaudine said. “When we played (Crested Butte), we felt like once we broke their press we could beat them.”Down 15-5 after the first period, the Saints went on an 11-2 run. That got Vail Christian to within one points. The Saints stayed within the five-point range of the Titans until late.Danielle Cavanaugh, Katie Russ and Jill Shainholtz all took their last bows at St. Clare. Senior Sunita Roberts, who was injured, al was honored before the game.”When you think of Dani, Jill and Katie and Sunita, these girls modeled the hard-work ethic,” Beaudine said. “They have a great attitude. They’ve taken their game up a level each year. They’re silent kind of leaders. They have been the backbone of the program through ups and downs.””It was really a slap in the face,” Cavanaugh said. “It was the last time I was going to play on this court. I think all of the seniors thought that, and played like it was.”Huskies fall to MoffatEAGLE-VAIL – So close.



Nearing the end of a terrible season, the Battle Mountain boys’ basketball team showed tremendous heart Saturday night, taking Moffat County into overtime before falling 76-74.Appropriately enough for the Huskies (0-21), their best effort of the season came on Senior Night.”This was the best game they played this year,” Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue said. “It was the best game played in this gym this year. There were a lot of people here. Being Senior Night, I told them just to go out and play with a lot of heart, and they played great.”Ashlin Romero led the Huskies with 24 points, while Clay Wilson had 17 and Zach Adamson 14.Wilson, Adamson, D.J. Van Curan, T.J. Simpson, Victor Meneses and Emmanuel Villeda played their final home game for Battle Mountain.In the girls’ game, Moffat defeated the Huskies handily.Battle Mountain’s Kelsey Sanders, Kaeli Hosler and Max Van Dyke were honored before the game.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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