Saints slow it down, top Vail Mountain School
Devils basketball postponed
Eagle Valley basketball may never play a game again.
OK, it just seems like it.
With the avalanche on Interstate 70, Tuesday night’s games at Summit County were postponed to Jan. 26. Eagle Valley hoops has had both sets of its games snowed out coming out of the holiday break. Last week’s games against Glenwood Springs are reset for Jan. 23 in Gypsum. The Devils haven’t played a game since Dec. 17.
Weather willing, the Devils are at Rifle on Thursday for games at 6 and 7:30 p.m.
EAST VAIL — The end may be near — Vail Christian boys basketball slowed down the tempo against the Vail Mountain School on Tuesday night.
Since the Saints tend to play at a pace that would make the Showtime Era Lakers look like Princeton, this is a development, people. And what’s more, it worked as Vail Christian defeated VMS, 57-49, in East Vail.
“Tonight was about defense, and trying to control the game, and not letting teams shoot 50 percent,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “We decided we couldn’t play them half court, so we went (to a) full-court (press), and that scored some points for us.”
Despite some stout defense and tempo changes, Vail Christian still showed some of its heritage with Sebastian Moritz, who shot the lights out to the tune of 26 points.
VMS (1-1 overall and 0-1 in the 2A Slope) took the early edge using its height to take a 16-11 first-quarter lead. The big issue, though, was that the Gore Rangers’ Griffin O’Connell (17 points) took his third foul with 10 seconds left in the first quarter. His absence in the second quarter limited his team offensively and also put a damper on his defensive play in the paint when he returned.
In a game that seemed to set a record for offensive fouls, both teams didn’t seem so pleased with the officiating, so call it even.
“It’s only our second game of the season,” VMS coach Travis Aldrich said. “This was a great game for us because it gave us an opportunity to play a close game, and we’re going to have those this season. That’s a learning experience for us. I think the guys would like to (rewind) it.”
As a side note, districts are in February.
Seb the focus
The plan for the Gore Rangers was to have some combination of Marc Phillipon and Nathan Rouaud on Moritz, but the former also had three fouls. After Moritz went off in the third quarter, Rouaud did a nice job of putting the clamps on Vail Christian’s leading scorer.
“It’s been a couple games it’s been like that, and we’ve done a good job of converting some offense off that,” Moritz said.
With Vail Christian leading 43-41 going into the fourth quarter, Saints not named Moritz stepped up, allowing No. 24, with Rouaud well-draped on him, to be a distribution threat.
E. J. Koller dropped a three and his layup with 2:06 to go gave the Saints a 50-47 lead. Moritz did break through VMS’ front-court pressure for a dash to the hole.
While neither team distinguished itself at the line, Moritz and Bryan Trujillo sank clutch free throws, and Koller delivered the dagger with a bucket with 15 seconds remaining.
Vail Christian (2-6, 2-1) is at Hayden Friday, while the Gore Rangers head to DeBeque.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.