Saints boys basketball takes control of Gore League
EDWARDS — Bryan Trujillo scored 15 points in the first quarter for Vail Christian against rival Soroco on Tuesday night in Gore League action as the Saints jumped out to a 26-10 lead against the Rams and never looked back in a 65-36 win.
The Saints’ (6-2 overall and 3-0 in the Gore) defense came out aggressive and didn’t let up, forcing errant passes and offensive fouls by the Rams (7-3, 2-1). And the offense was clicking behind Trujillo, allowing the Saints to play with a 20-point lead much of the second half.
“Soroco’s the team to beat in our league,” said Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns. “I thought we could play them tough; I didn’t know we could get a win like that.”
Leading 17-10, Joseph Emmer and David Caballero drew charges on consecutive possessions, and the Saints ended the quarter with a 9-0 run, capped by an arching 3-ball by Trujillo over the Soroco defender’s outstretch hand at the buzzer.
“We got a couple of their key guys in foul trouble and played great defense limiting them to one shot,” Kuhns said. “And then we hit a couple big shots, especially that 3 that Bryan hit at the end of the first quarter.”
Against a taller Rams team, the Saints big guys came up, well, big. Ethan Kuhns rolled an ankle Saturday, but he gutted it out to play against the Rams. Kuhns, Caballero and Alex Davis did the dirty work at the glass for the Saints.
Due to the JV games running late, the varsity games were pushed back. The boys ended at 10:45 p.m., and the raucous home crowd was chanting for a “late start” to school Wednesday.
“It was a late night, and the pressure was building up,” the Saints’ Sebastian Moritz said. “Being our toughest league opponent, we really wanted to execute and win this game.”
In a back and forth game, the Saints (5-4, 1-2) and Rams (8-1, 3-0) stayed within five points of each other for most of the Gore League matchup, but Vail Christian struggled at the free-throw line and lost to Soroco, 58-54.
The Saints played aggressive on defense, led by Jessie Raitt, Jessie Hartley, Marti Schmidt, Kass Baker and Brittney Bossow, but the Soroco team sunk 10 3s during the game, making no lead safe.
“Every single one of those girls left their entire heart out on the floor. And that’s all we can do,” Hartley said.
The Saints trailed 55-45 late in the fourth, but the Saints battled back to give themselves a chance with a minute left. However, missed free throws throughout the game spoiled any chance of winning,
“They played with great maturity and a lot of class and character, and that’s important for these games,” coach Beth Raitt said.
Coco Spangler, Morgan Calton, Sarah Heredia and Susan Vanderveer helped the Saints throughout the game, with fouls becoming an issue for Vail Christian.
The Saints teams host Debeque on Friday The rematches against the Rams are set for Jan. 28 in Soroco.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and email@example.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.