Devils girls, Saints boys win on the road
FARMER’S KORNER — This is why every winter coach, regardless of the sport, worries about winter break.
What’s going to happen when you come back?
Eagle Valley girls basketball survived its post-break opener at Summit County, 48-46, on Friday night to move to 3-0 in 4A Western Slope and 6-3 overall.
“It was the break and a little bit of the altitude. It feels like we are always crawling up there with extra 3,000 feet,” Devils coach Sam Bartlett said. “We started off really lethargic.”
To that end, the Devils trailed 6-4 at the end of one quarter and 17-16 at the half, but all’s well that ends well. Eagle Valley slowed the tempo down a bit and started attacking Summit’s zone in the correct gaps.
Kylie Martin led the Devils with 15, while Ashely Floyd matched her uniform number (14). The unsung heroes of the game, according to Bartlett, were Cassie Jaramillo on the glass and Victoria Schwaiger on defense.
In Game 2, Eagle Valley’s boys actually got off to a good start, but ended up falling to the Tigers, 48-42.
With a young team comes some growing pains and Friday night will be filed under that category.
“Consistency always seems to be a challenge,” Devils coach Chris Walls said. “Right now, we’re struggling with playing up to our potential. We’re learning and improving. We have got to get consistency.”
Jimmy Murphy led the Devils (3-6 overall and 1-2 in the league) with 18 points, while Dawson Keller had 16 to go with 14 rebounds.
Eagle Valley gets no rest. The Devils are at Glenwood Springs on Saturday.
Saints boys get big win
KREMMLING — If you haven’t played “Vail Christian Boys Basketball: The Home Game,” just accept the following as reality.
Any road win in the 2A Gore League is just wonderful.
The Saints boys slugged, hacked and slogged their way to a 37-29 win at West Grand on Friday night. That is a thing of beauty, people. (And take that for football.)
“Heck of win,” Vail Christian coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “That’s a big league win for this group going around the first time.”
Kuhns described the team that way because his Saints (4-2, 1-0) are not young. Do not call them young. They are just varsity players getting their first playing experience, though six of the eight are sophomores. (Simply nod your head after reading that.)
Vail Christian scored all of eight points in the first half and trailed 12-8 before putting up a 20-spot in the third quarter.
Sebastian Moritz went off for 18 points. Logan Raitt, Bryan Trujillo and Alex Davis were also huge in that key turn of the game.
David Caballero and Ethan Kuhns, however, share the game ball for their defense on Ivan Mendoza of West Grand. The Mustang scored only seven points, which would be a lot better, from the Saints’ point of view, than the 20 or so he was averaging coming into the game.
This win also enable Sheldon Kuhns temporarily to stop having nightmares about buzzer-beating 3-point shots in West Grand. We only bring that up as the Vail Christian girls lost on a late 3 — misery loves company — to West Grand, 47-44 on Friday night.
The Saints girls had a slow start in their first game after the break — see, it’s a theme — but still pushed the hosts, taking a late lead before West Grand’s heroics.
Marti Schmidt had a great game for the Saints with 15 points and seven steals. Jesse Raitt had 11 points and Jessie Hartley was huge with nine defensive rebounds.
Vail Christian hosts Hayden on Saturday at 3 and 4:30 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.