Saints struggle at districts; play again Saturday |

Saints struggle at districts; play again Saturday

DEBEQUE — This is why everyone in Vail Christian blue, white and silver was jumping for joy after beating Rangely on Tuesday during the first round of districts.

Had the Saints lost on Tuesday that was it for the season. Losing in the district semifinals on Friday isn’t fun, but doesn’t end your season.

That would be the silver lining in District 5 Tournament report for Friday from DeBeque. The Saints ladies fell to Paonia, 52-29, while the guys bowed to Cedaredge, 36-29.

The score of the girls game was deceiving. Vail Christian actually led this one, 28-25, in the middle of the third quarter, proving that they could with the Eagles, who are ranked No. 3 in all of Class 2A.

“Our press generated turnover and we didn’t let them get into their set offense,” Saints coach Beth Raitt said. “We just ran out of juice.”

But the Saints have the opportunity to drink up some more juice by resting up for Soroco. Yes, ladies and germs, it’s time for the third round of Saints-Rams today (Saturday) at 11 a.m.

Meanwhile, the Saints boys got a taste of good old-fashioned playoff basketball in their tight loss to Cedaredge. The Bruins jumped out to an 18-4 lead against Vail Christian’s man-to-man defense. That run included four Cedaredge 3s.

So naturally, the Saints switched to a zone, and that worked. (Yes, you may say, “Huh,” but it worked.)

“We struggled against their strength,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “They had four big strong kids and we thought we could counter with speed.”

To their credit, the Saints still were able to close to 30-27 with about three minutes left.

“Heart of a champion,” Kuhns said.

The boys face Hotchkiss today (Saturday) at 12:30 p.m.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, and @cfreud.

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