Deep Saints deep-six Ridgway
EDWARDS, Colorado ” The 2009 Vail Christian boys’ basketball team looked sharp Saturday against Ridgway, and in doing so, did the 2008 Saints a big favor.
Vail Christian was missing two of its three seniors “Jaryd Francis (shoulder) and Chase Gruber (ankle) ” and still zipped to a 53-40 win Saturday afternoon against Ridgway to even the Saints’ 1A Mountain League mark at 2-2.
“This is for all intents and purposes next year’s team,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “It’s different not having Jaryd and Chase in there. One thing we’re learning is, and we kind of learned it last week at DeBeque, is you’ve got to do whatever it takes to win within the rules. We learned how to battle. We battled for 32 minutes, and that’s what we were missing earlier in the season when we hit that skid.”
With roughly 30 points per game sitting on the bench, Vail Christian (10-4) truly showed its depth.
“We did pretty well with who we had,” junior Chris Schmidt said. “Chase and Jaryd were out. Everyone stepped up.”
That would include Schmidt who had a great line in the box score with 11 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. There was also point guard Will Parker with 11 points and eight assists, igniting the offense.
Parker and Schmidt were definitely on the same wavelength, hooking up numerous times against the Demons.
“We’ve played a lot of ball out of practice in the offseason,” Parker said. “That’s why we play pretty well.”
Continuing the depth motif, forward Larry Cavanaugh was laid low with the flu and so sophomore Larry Propp soaked up major minutes and contributed eight points.
Toss in A.J. Burgess (nine) and Dustin Martin (six), and the Saints have a three-game winning streak and have tied the school mark for wins in a season.
The Saints have a huge week ahead. Tuesday at 6 p.m. is the rescheduled game against North Park at St. Clare. Vail Christian then starts its second run through the league with DeBeque Friday at home, and then a trip to Crested Butte Saturday.
“We’ve seen everyone once,” Kuhns said. “We know what other team’s strengths and weaknesses are. We feel that the we didn’t perform as well in the first half. That doesn’t mean we’re going to go in and easily win these games. We’re not. We feel, though, like we can give Crested Butte and Ouray a run for their money.”
Demons nip Lady Saints
The Vail Christian girls basketball team keeps losing players, but still finds a way to be competitive.
Without their top rebounder, Michelle Disher, the Saints, nearly came away with a win Saturday, falling to Ridgway, 31-24.
“Without Michelle Disher, I’ve got to give the girls credit. The girls came out and played really well without her,” Saints coach Patrick Beaudine said. “We just needed someone to step up. Some games you have it and some games you don’t.”
The Saints trailed by as much as 11 points in the first quarter and were down 18-10 in the third, but stormed back to take a 24-23 advantage early in the fourth. Nayeli Hernandez sparked things with a 3 and freshman Tracy Salgado added six points, giving the Saints a much-needed lift.
“Tracy is a freshman and she plays with a calm and a demeanor that’s above her age,” Beaudine said. “She hit some great shots in that third quarter. She’s going to end up being a great player for us.”
Fellow frosh Alexis Ellsworth knocked down a 14-footer with 5:51 left in regulation to give the Saints their only lead of the day at 24-23, but the visiting Demons went on an 8-0 run to finish things.
Vail Christian, 1-3 in the Mountain League and 3-11 overall, hosts North Park Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.