Super sweet: Saints sweep past South Park
OK, let’s get it out of your system.
“Omigosh. They killed Kenny.”
“Screw you guys, I’m going home.”
“Respect my authority.”
Feel better? We certainly do, and, with that, Vail Christian basketball took two from South Park on Saturday in nonconference action at the Wheeler Athletic Center in Edwards.
Girls win sixth in a row
The Vail Christian girls, who are far too mature for “South Park” jokes, continued their roll beating the Burros, 54-27. (Yes, they really are the Burros. You can’t make this stuff up.)
That is six in a row for the Saints, who are 10-4. Vail Christian is doing it with defense — it allowed South Park only six points during the first half.
“They are really peaking as a team,” Saints coach Beth Raitt said. “They are communicating, thinking as a team. They’re making better choices.”
More encouraging is that the Saints were still playing good ball well after this was decided. Remy Beveridge took a charge in the third quarter with her team up 32-12.
Doing that in the second half in the latter of back-to-back games — the Saints won a hard-fought 50-48 game at Plateau Valley on Friday night — says something.
“We’ve been working on it all the time,” Raitt said. “You need to play defense with your feet.”
On the offensive end, the Saints continue to have nice, balanced offense. First off, offense has always been the bane of Vail Christian girls basketball’s history. (Remember when scoring 40 points in a game was a big deal for this program? The Saints have topped 40 in 11 of their 14 games this year, more often than not with ease.)
The Saints have usually have had one good scorer, say like Rachel Glandorf, Danielle Cavanaugh or Alexis Ellsworth. But opponents can figure a way to stop a solo act.
Having Jessie Raitt (eight points), Marti Schmidt (also eight) and Jessie Hartley (18), all in limited action, complicates things nicely as the postseason approaches.
“I think everyone’s reading each other more,” Saints point guard Jessie Raitt said. “Coming back (from my knee injury), I really feel a part of the team.”
Boys past test
The little known 11th Commandment is “Thou shall not call the Vail Christian boys basketball team young.”
Yet, there were the Saints with one of their two seniors Alex Davis on the bench out with an ankle injury sustained in a Friday night during a win at Plateau Valley, taking on South Park on Saturday, shall we say, with a less chronologically-advanced team?
However one terms it, the kids passed the test as the Saints took over the second half, dropping 40 points on South Park knocking off visiting Burros, 61-34.
“It’s good to know,” the team’s lone senior, Logan Raitt, said. “The young guys and even the freshmen, Alex Hilty and Gordo (Michael Gorla), they can step up.”
“They played great,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns. “They ground it out for two-and-a-half quarters, and started to get some momentum offensively. I’m proud of them. They played hard. We’re learning the push to the playoffs.”
Bryan Trujillo canned a 3-pointer to end the first half, pulling Vail Christian (11-4) even at 21. Sebastian Moritz started the second half with a steal and a layup. Moritz and Trujillo combined for eight of the Saints’ 10 points in the third quarter, and the Saints led after 24 minutes, 31-26.
Trujillo ended going off for 23 points in all, while Moritz had some highlight-reel moments of his own in the fourth quarter. And don’t forget old man Raitt, who ran the show and chipped in eight points.
Without Davis, Vail Christian had to make some adjustments in rebounding. After getting creamed on the glass in the first half, the Saints got better as they put together a 40-13 run in the second half.
Part of that falls under the category of “necessity being the mother of invention.” David Caballero took Davis’ spot, but when he picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter, the Saints went to a four-guard offense. That pulled South Park out of the paint and gave the Saints some room on the glass.
Both Saints teams are at Meeker on Thursday for a nonconference games, and then host West Grand in huge Gore League contests on Friday.
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.