Saints outlast West Grand, 88-82
KREMMLING — Vail Christian boys basketball just hates (in the nicest way) the Gores, and we’re not talking about Al and Tipper.
The Gore brothers, Travis and Casey, of West Grand, tend to torment everyone in Saints’ blue, white and silver. Travis hit a 70-footer at the buzzer two years ago in Kremmling to down Vail Christian, and coach Sheldon Kuhns tends to bring up that moment early and often in conversations.
Saturday’s trip to Kremmling ended with a much more favorable result. The Saints outlasted Casey Gore and West Grand, 88-82, in double overtime.
“Total team effort,” Kuhns said. “We were a little stunned by the way (West Grand) came out in the second half.”
That’s because Vail Christian was up 36-17, and all seemed well. Then young Gore went off for seven 3s in the third quarter, along with Nick Ritschard, whom Saints fans remember well from football.
Of course, this was pretty much a football game. The Saints’ Ethan Ellsworth and Branden Currey fouled out in the fourth quarter, and the Mustangs had four players on the bench by the end of the game. The statistic of the day was that the Saints were 37-of-55 — this is not a typo — from the line. (Excellent shooting by the Saints, but were they playing Caliche?)
Before he fouled out, all Ellsworth did was put up 21 points and 19 rebounds. Cooper Gould knocked down 16 points and swept 13 balls off the glass. Parker Poage “slumped” to a mere 24 points on Saturday, while Ethan Pence had a huge game with 15.
Pretty much everyone came up big in overtime. The big play was courtesy of Alex Davis when the Saints got a bucket and the foul. Vail Christian missed the freebie, but Davis crashed the boards, got the put-back and got fouled in the process. He made the free throw.
Pence had a monster 3 in the second overtime. Gould had six points in OT, and Poage was 7-for-8 from the line in the second OT. (Upon further review, he won’t be benched for going from 33 points against North Park on Friday to 24 on Saturday.) Danny Caballero was also clutch from the line.
The Saints (13-5 overall and 6-3 in the 2A Slope) have a whole week off, a positively luxurious amount of time, before heading to Plateau Valley on Saturday for the end of the regular season.
Lady Saints continue to fight
It’s not like the Saints are getting blown out every time out. Vail Christian girls basketball is in a lot of games, but just can’t find the missing piece.
The Saints lost another tough one at West Grand, 50-45, on Saturday.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Saints coach Doug Bruce said. “I was really pleased with our second half. We were down 10 points and cut it to five or six several times. I thought our effort was really good, and I can’t ask for anything better than that.”
Taylor Alexander had a big night with 16 points, while Kristin Currey finished with 14.
Vail Christian’s girls (6-11) head to Shining Mountain on Tuesday before going to Plateau Valley on Saturday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.