Prep notebook: Vail Christian snags No. 1 seed for district tournament |

Prep notebook: Vail Christian snags No. 1 seed for district tournament

Eagle Valley, Vail Mountain School and Vail Christian girls also headed to postseason basketball tournaments

Vail Christian and Vail Mountain School could face off in the second round of the 2A District 5 tournament on Friday if the Gore Rangers can win their first-round game Tuesday night.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

Vail Christian will bring a 12-game winning streak and undefeated (9-0) league mark into the 2A District 5 tournament this week. The Saints (15-2), whose last loss came Jan. 6 against Custer County, claimed the No. 1 seed and will face the winner of Tuesday’s matchup between No. 4 Vail Mountain School and No. 5 Hayden on Feb. 24. The Saints beat Hayden 63-46 on Feb. 3 and took down the Gore Rangers 64-47 on Feb. 7.

The Saints’ stiffest challenge will likely either be from the defending district champion Gore Rangers, who were 6-3 in league play this year, or No. 2-seed Plateau Valley, which finished the season 14-3 overall and 8-1 in the league. In 2022, VMS defeated Vail Christian 61-53 in the district title game.

In 1A and 2A, eight district winners and 24 at-large teams advance to the state tournament, with the first two rounds played as regionals and the final eight contested at a neutral site.

Eagle Valley closed out its regular season with a 77-39 win over Conifer on Saturday, finishing with an 11-11 overall record and 4-2 league mark. After ending the first quarter with a 21-17 lead, the Devils held the Lobos to just 22 points the rest of the way.

“Conifer really struggled against our full-court pressure defense and team depth,” head coach Justin Brandt said.

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Max Jaramillo and Nikko Von Stralendorff scored 16 and 12 points, respectively, Branden Villalobos dished out five assists with zero turnovers, Kaden Kraft led the team with seven rebounds and Gunther Soltvedt had four steals in the victory.

Isabella Almanza/Courtesy photo
Eagle Valley enters the 5A state tournament fresh off a 77-39 victory over Conifer.
Isabella Almanza/Courtesy photo

“It was a total team win with 13 different players scoring,” Brandt said. The Devils qualified for the 5A state playoffs as the No. 27 seed and will face No. 6-seeded Lewis-Palmer (16-7) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The Vail Christian girls are also headed to post-season play. The No. 5 Saints will take on No. 4 West Grand in the first round of the 2A District 5 tournament on Tuesday. The Saints (6-11) lost to the Mustangs 45-35 back on Jan. 21; Tuesday’s winner will face No. 1 Rangely (15-4 overall, 8-0 league).

Battle Mountain had an encouraging season finale as well, taking down Palisade last Friday in Edwards 67-58. The Huskies trailed the Bulldogs (9-14) by one point going into the fourth quarter, but scored 33 points in the final period alone to pull off the victory. Battle Mountain finished its season with a 4-16 overall record and 1-5 league mark.

Wrestling notes: Devins, Ward and Good compete at 4A state tournament

Battle Mountain’s Grady Devins and Eagle Valley’s Braiden Ward and Robert Good all competed at the 4A state wrestling tournament in Denver over the weekend.

Devins opened up his state tournament with a loss to Widefield’s Angel Fernandez in the first round of the 106-pound bracket. In his next match, the Husky defeated Roosevelt’s Peyton Wright in a 9-2 decision, but was pinned at 4:36 by Thompson Valley’s Gabe Hall in the second-round of the consolation bracket to end his tournament.

Ward was pinned by Greeley West’s Julian Chavez in the first round and by Pueblo West’s Ben Kauffman in the first round of the consolation in the 120-pound division. Wrestling in the 126-pound class, Robert Good also fell in two straight matches, first to Pueblo East’s Niko Fernandez in a 5-4 decision and then to Canon City’s Elias Koonce in a 6-1 decision.

Full brackets can be found on

Hockey notes: Battle Mountain will play Liberty in first round of 4A state hockey tournament

No. 8 Battle Mountain will host No. 9 Liberty in the first round of the 4A state hockey playoffs on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Eagle Ice Arena.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

Battle Mountain split the final two games of its regular season last weekend, defeating Liberty 4-2 on Friday before falling to Cherry Creek 6-1 on Saturday.

Brady Blizzard scored two goals and Kirchner Slaugh and Aiden Baker each found the back of the net as well in Friday’s win.

The No. 8-seeded Huskies (7-10-2) will rematch No. 9-seeded Liberty (7-11-1) in the first round of the 4A state hockey tournament on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Eagle Ice Arena. The winner will face No. 1 Glenwood Springs (15-4) in the state quarterfinals.

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