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Meeker crashes boards on Vail Christian

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado
Daily file photo/Theo StroomerVail Christian's Will Parker goes up for a shot in last week's game against Ouray. The Saints lost to Meeker Friday night, 78-66.
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MEEKER, Colorado ” Sometimes a basketball coach can’t figure out why his came up short.

Friday night, however, Vail Christian coach Sheldon Kuhns knew exactly what pushed the opposing Meeker Pirates over the top against the Saints in a non-league contest.

“It pretty much came down to the second quarter,” Kuhns said. “They really crashed the glass hard and got second shot after second shot. It limited our game. Either they’d put the ball back in or we’d foul them.”



Meeker outscored Vail Christian 27-9 in the second frame en route to a 78-66 win in Meeker.

“We played the right way,” Kuhns said. “We had a lot of good effort ” they just killed us on the offensive glass.”



Jaryd Francis led the Saints with 30 points, while Will Parker and Chase Gruber each chipped in 10.

“We had a good balance,” Kuhns said. “We have points coming from everywhere, which opens it up.”

The 1A Saints held a 19-16 lead after the first quarter, and trailed 61-42 heading into the final quarter.



“We finished strong,” Kuhns said. “They are a good team ” they finished fifth in 2A last year.”

While they weren’t taller than the Saints, the Cowboys found a way to gobble up rebounds.

“They were just very aggressive and sent guy after guy,” Kuhns said. “We had an off night in their gym.”

The Cowboys took advantage of some unobstructed shots, going 25-for-35 from the line.

With the loss, the Saints dropped to 7-3 and are 0-1 in the Mountain League (next season, Vail Christian will move to 2A and Meeker will be a league game). The Saints return home today to host Crested Butte at St. Clare at 4 p.m.

“We’re confident going into the game,” Kuhns said. “We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game (Friday), but we saved it for (today).”

MEEKER, Colorado ” They were getting open and getting good looks. The only problem for the Vail Christian girls was that the shots weren’t falling.

“We just had an off night,” said Saints coach Patrick Beaudine. “We couldn’t get into a rhythm.”

The Saints fell to Meeker JV, 54-22, Friday night.

“At halftime, we were confident ” we were only down by nine,” Beaudine said. “We made an adjustment to our press, and it was bothering them all game.”

Maty Peckham led the Saints with nine points, followed by Hannah Morris with six.

“Hannah is doing a great job this year at handling pressure and putting us in a good position,” Beadine said.

Vail Christian had a good night on the boards, with three girls in the double digits ” Sammantha Francis, Michelle Disher and Peckham.

“They continued their fine rebounding,” Beaudine said.

Several underclassman saw considerable time, with Alexis Ellsworth and Hannah Vancuren each adding a basket.

“We have a real good foundation to build on,” Beaudine said.

With the loss, the Saints dropped to 2-8. Today, Vail Christian hosts Crested Butte at 2:30 p.m.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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