Johnsen, Vail Christian shut down Gilpin County |

Johnsen, Vail Christian shut down Gilpin County

BLACK HAWK – After playing a quarter of track and field with Gilpin County, Vail Christian boys basketball settled down very nicely for a 72-53 win against the host Eagles Friday night.

Vail Christian gave up a whopping 25 points in the first quarter and then the Saints defense slammed the door shut the rest of the way. Eagles point guard Chris Randall, one of the leading scorers in the state, had 11 points in the first quarter. Then Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns put Nigel Johnsen on him.

Randall had just one field goal the rest of the way.

“That’s your game ball,” Kuhns said of Johnsen.

Johnsen should probably share said game ball with Zach Linder. The junior scored 12 points and had a career-high 15 rebounds, contributing to the oft-repeated theme of defense in Vail Christian’s camp.

“That was a good win for us, winning on the road with a slow start and coming back,” Kuhns said. “The team has always known how to score. They are starting to figure out defense. We were really defending and rebounding, one and done.”

Fernando Hernandez did his seemingly-usual bang-up job- 22 points and 9 assists. Guard Robby Bowles continued to shake off the December cobwebs with 16 points. Kevin Boselli chipped in eight. Johnsen also had seven on top of his big defensive night.

Now, if the Vail Christian boys team could find a way to give some of that offense to their female counterparts, that would be good. In the lidlifter, Gilpin topped the Vail Christian girls basketball team, 46-20.

Stating the obvious, the Saints offense continues to struggle.

“We keep getting great effort,” Saints coach Doug Bruce said. “We’re rebounding, but we cannot find ourselves on offense yet. They pressed us, but we handled the pressure. We’re able to get the ball down (the court), but we’re still a little out of synch.”

Ashlyn Gruber and Paris Baker each had six for the Saints.

Both Vail Christian teams are home today for Soroco with the ladies at 2:30 p.m. and the gents at 4 p.m.

Paonia too much for VMS

EAST VAIL – The phantom missing quarter struck Vail Mountain School again in its 65-40 loss Friday afternoon to Paonia in East Vail.

While Vail Mountain is only in its third year of varsity play, this affliction tends to strike a lot of teams regardless of their pedigree. The visiting Eagles outscored VMS, 17-4 in the second quarter.

“It’s tough when we have to start the third quarter with a full-court press and shooting 3s,” Gore Rangers coach Wilton Anderson said. “It’s a tough way to play with a limited bench.”

Sean McKeever had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Paco Holguin also had a double-double (12 points and 11 boards). Ben Barbour also had six points for the Gore Rangers.

VMS heads to Plateau Valley today for Ted Grundy and the Cowboys.

Devils fall at Moffat

CRAIG – Most people dread the trip to Craig to face Moffat County.

Not Devils girls basketball coach Sam Bartlett.

“(Moffat) definitely feed(s) off the crowd,” Bartlett said. “They have a winning tradition. It’s pretty fun to play up there.”

The host Bulldogs beat the Devils, 57-27, Friday night, but Bartlett chalked it up as a good experience because Moffat, with its winning ways in girls basketball, is what Eagle Valley aspires to be.

Cori Cramer, Mariel Gutierrez and Lauren Thorpe each had six points for Eagle Valley. Thorpe also had nine rebounds.

It’s a quick turnaround for Eagle Valley as it headed home Friday night. The ladies host Steamboat Springs today at 2 p.m., followed by the boys at 3:30 p.m.


Regis blanks Huskies

DENVER – Battle Mountain hockey continued its struggles Friday night with a 6-0 loss at the hands of Regis.

The Raiders, a perennial state power, scored three times in the first period and never looked back. Battle Mountain (0-9-1) hosts Summit County today at 3 p.m. at Dobson.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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