Saturday’s preps wrap: Nordic and a lot of hoops
TENNESSEE PASS — It does appear that Eagle County’s local Nordic teams will be carrying their weight this season.
Vail Mountain School’s boys and girls swept Saturday’s skate race up on Tennessee Pass, and the Battle Mountain boys were second behind the Gore Rangers, 167-160.
Eric Zdechlik led the VMS charge, finishing second with a time of 18 minutes, 37 seconds. Cameron Wolfe was sixth at 19:08 and Peter Littman finished eighth with a 19:28. Ian Hardenbergh finished 10th and didn’t score for VMS. That’s some serious depth.
Franklin Reilly was tops for the Huskies boys in third (18:45), followed by Nicholas Apps (ninth) and Connor McCabe (12th).
That’s a great performance for the Huskies, given that the program usually excels in alpine and hopes just to get enough points on the Nordic side. One-hundred-sixty points in a race is an elegant sufficiency of scoring in a hypothetical state-meet situation.
Likewise, the VMS boys’ performance in Nordic is why it’s significant that the school is fielding a competitive alpine team. The Gore Rangers have had the Nordic side of things down for many years.
VMS’ ladies were equally dominant with Maddie Donovan winning the race for the full 60 points. Emma Blakslee was fourth and Lyle Shipp sixth. The Gore Rangers scored a 172 out of a possible 177 points.
Kaela Fahrney (10th), Elizabeth Constien (17th) and Sofial Piliero (19th) scored the points for the Huskies. Rose Sandell topped Eagle Valley with Michaela Mitchell (16th) also cracking the top 20.
VMS hoops crushes Caprock
EAST-VAIL — And that’s a 2-0 weekend for Vail Mountain School basketball.
After slamming DeBeque on the road on Friday night, the Gore Rangers made short work of Caprock Academy, 70-44, on Saturday afternoon in East Vail.
“I think it was important for us, especially following the Vail Christian game,” VMS coach Travis Aldrich said. “We had to regroup. These last few games have been a statement.”
As they did against DeBeque, the Gore Rangers had a nice spread of scoring on Saturday. Peter Tice had 11, while Griffin O’Connel finished with 10 points. Todger Davis and Cooper Sampson both had eight.
The hits keep coming for VMS (3-1 overall and 2-1 in the 2A Slope) when it hosts Soroco on Monday night.
Devils fall at Central
GRAND JUNCTION — They’re coming home.
Devils basketball will finally play a home game on Tuesday, both teams’ first since Dec. 6, when the girls and boys host Coal Ridge.
Eagle Valley could use some home cooking after losses at Central on Saturday, not to mention two postponed league games.
The boys fell, 62-42, to the Warriors. Arturo Loera had the hot hand from downtown with five 3s and a total of 17 points. Dawson Keller was playing big in the paint with a double-double and four blocks.
“It was a very good Central team that beat us today,” Devils coach Chris Walls said. “We’ve got to shore up some things defensively with our guard play and not allow ourselves to get slowed down in our transition game. We’ll come back on Monday, work on those things and get ready for a home game finally.”
And there’s an emphasis on “finally.”
The Devils ladies were nipped, 45-42, by Central. Like the gents, they’re struggling to get their legs after a long layoff. The good news is that the Devils scored 19 points in the fourth quarter.
And the even-better news: Eagle Valley is home on Tuesday against Coal Ridge.
Saints sweep Cowboys
Yes, the heavy-duty part of the schedule awaits, but let the record state that Vail Christian girls basketball is 5-0 in the 2A Slope.
The Saints made it so with a 54-33 win against Plateau Valley on Saturday afternoon in Edwards.
Kass Baker did the honors with 16 points, while Marti Schmidt had 15 and Jesse Raitt 12.
“I think they’re really enjoying playing together,” Saints coach Beth Raitt said. “They’re getting their timing down and knowing how each other plays. We’re definitely becoming a team.”
The Vail Christian boys aren’t doing too badly either. That set of Saints topped the Cowboys, 58-43, to move to 4-1 in the Slope.
Sebastian Moritz went off for 24 points.
“Robby Bowles, the sequel,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns joked.
Zach McKeever made his debut for the Saints and had 11 points, while Bryan Trujillo had 14. That’s the first time this season that two players not named Moritz had double digits.
Vail Christian hosts Soroco on Friday at 6:30 and 8 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.