Saints basketball sweeps its way into districts
RIDGWAY – Vail Christian music teacher Robin Smart should lead the school’s student body to start classes Tuesday with a high note – perhaps a C over E. Freshman Bianca Jensen should be able to hit that. She seemingly hit everything else this weekend. Jensen, Caleb Pearson and the Saints swept a pair from Ridgway on Saturday with the girls knocking off the Demons, 51-23, and the boys making it 2-for-2 with a 44-27 win.With the victories, the Saints bounced back from tough losses at Ouray on Friday night and gained momentum going into next week’s district tournament in Delta.The Lady Saints had beaten Ouray earlier in the season in Edwards but fell to the Trojans, 62-47, during the first game of their road trip. Vail Christian seemed in a bit of a funk early against the Demons, trailing, 5-0, in the first quarter.The Saints promptly turned on their press.
“That really got to them,” Saints coach Patrick Beaudine said. “We had really physical defense. The press flustered them, and we took a huge lead.”Vail Christian outscored Ouray, 14-4, during the rest of the opening period and blanked the Demons, 15-0, in the second quarter.Balanced scoring was the order of the day with Jensen leading the team with 17 points. Danielle Cavanugh and Hannah Morris had 14 each.Jensen’s 17 came on the heels of a 26-point performance against Ouray.”She’s finding her rhythm and confidence on the court,” Beaudine said. “Once she gets in her rhythm, she’s very hard to guard.”
Vail Christian finished the Mountain League with a 3-5 record and the regular season with a 5-13 mark overall. Boys finish at .500Nine is a good number for Vail Christian boys basketball. For the third straight year, the Saints finished the regular season with nine wins.This year, the Saints enter the postseason at 9-9 with a 4-4 record in the Mountain League after dumping Ridgway for the second time this year.
Pearson had yet another big game with 23 points. Chase Gruber contributed six, while point guard Will Parker had five.”We definitely were a little sluggish,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “We played decently offensively. We were struggling to score. We did what we needed to do to win. Sometimes, that’s what it takes.”Both of Vail Christian’s teams are at districts in Delta on Thursday, when the Saints and other Mountain League teams will be joined by Dove Creek, North Park and Norwood.”We know we need to step it up,” Kuhns said. “It’s a good thing that the program is going in the right direction.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.