Now this is an exciting basketball team
Class 4A Western Slope
Taylor Martin, Eagle Valley
Mariel Gutierrez, Eagle Valley
Elizabeth Olivas, Battle Mountain
Owen Riley, Battle Mountain
Kylie Martin, Eagle Valley
Jessie Chambers, Eagle Valley
Creek Kamby, Battle Mountain
Jason Jimenez, Eagle Valley
Class 2A Gore League
Jessie Raitt, Vail Christian
Jessie Hartley, Vail Christian
Sug Ellsworth, Vail Christian
Cooper Gould, Vail Christian
Remy Beveridge, Vail Christian
Logan Raitt, Vail Christian
Danny Caballero, Vail Christian
Yep, we’re sure you all had Michigan State in your brackets. Of course.
(OK, Vail Christian’s Mike Mutter, a Spartan through and through, has all four of his Final Four alive in his family’s pool.)
With that in mind, we still have some basketball business left. All-league for all three local schools finally came out last week with Vail Christian’s end-of-season banquet. Congrats to all.
But now, the unveiling of the Freud Five, my team that I’d take in a fantasy basketball league.
The first rule of Fight Club — uh, Chris, you’re not Brad Pitt. OK, the first rule of the Freud Five is that Freud may make up the rules. Hence, I have two point guards on my team.
Eagle Valley’s Mariel Gutierrez and Vail Christian’s Jessie Raitt both get to play. Seriously, how do you pick between the two?
I really think that Gutierrez has been in high school for eight years. This happens when you’re covering someone in multiple sports for every year of her career. Apparently, she’s a good soccer player.
In basketball, the numbers are impressive, but more so was her energy. When she goes, the Devils went when it came to running and going to the floor or hitting the glass.
Then there’s Raitt, who likely had the biggest impact of any freshman in any sport this year. All she did was 15 points and five steals per game. (Did we mention she’s a freshman?)
Sure, there’s some polishing to do, but we’ve got time. She’s a freshman. The early leader in the clubhouse for team to watch for next year would be Vail Christian girls basketball. Nobody graduated from a 13-9 team.
The Freud Five has a tradition of 3-point shooting fools, and we mean this in the nicest way. After all, guys like Eagle Valley’s Sam Lounsberry and Saints like Robby Bowles and Parker Poage have occupied this spot.
Thus, we present Battle Mountain’s Owen Riley. Yes, he’s out of position a bit, but we’ll make it work.
The Big O kept shooting and led the Huskies in scoring and steals and would be a nice complement to the trees we’re going to have inside. Also, thumbs up to Riley for playing both soccer and football in the fall for Battle Mountain.
The forward positions are interchangeable on this squad, but Cooper Gould of Vail Christian goes here. Coop was a garbage man and every team needs one. Gould was big in games against Soroco, a must for anyone in Saints’ blue, white and silver.
He was in double-digits in points during the regular season against the archrival Rams and sank them with two free throws in Round 3 at districts with three seconds left in regulation.
Of course, those were 15-footers, and Coop’s got 15-footers down as a golfer.
Again, we exert The Freud Prerogative with two at this spot. After all, if we play 7-on-5, we’re winning every game.
The Martins, Taylor and Kylie, go here. I think Kylie, the sophomore, got jobbed on the all-league voting, which generally favors upperclassmen, with an honorable-mention selection. Both Taylor, a senior, and Kylie are all-league in my book.
Taylor led the team in rebounds with Kylie second for the Devils. Kylie and Taylor went 1-2 in the scoring department.
We’re going to miss Taylor, and we’re happy to have Kylie back for two more years.
Shock of ages, we know — it’s Sug. Ethan Ellsworth was a monster for Vail Christian. All he did was average 20.5 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, both single-season records for the Saints.
He was a no-brainer for all-league and the Gore League’s Player of the Year, the first time Vail Christian’s been in a league with such a designation.
After he’s done with Eagle Valley baseball, Sug will leave Vail Christian as one of the school’s most accomplished athletes, three league titles, four state-playoff appearances and a partridge and a pear tree.
I don’t care that he ran afoul of CHSAA with three pairs of technical fouls in five years. It’s outright wrong that he couldn’t finish the season, leading the Vail Christian girls’ team.
The Saints’ Doug Bruce is mentor of young people on and off the court. He’s built the Saints girls’ program and, more importantly, is a fantastic math teacher who is passionate about them succeeding in the classroom and in life.
Coach Bruce can lead my team any day.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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