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Vail Christian beats North Park; eyes Slope crown

Thank you, West Grand

Alec Moritz and Vail Christian are one game away from their first 2A Slope title.
Mort Mulliken | Special to thee Daily

Merry Christmas, Vail Christian.

We don’t know if this is a late holiday greeting or if this is 10 months early, but either way, it’s good news.

Yes, the Vail Christian boys basketball team performed the obligatory thrashing of North Park, 81-43, in scenic Walden on Saturday. The Saints also got some good news via the Internet.

League-leading DeBeque lost to Plateau Valley last weekend and on Friday night fell to West Grand.

All of a sudden, the Saints are within one game of winning their first 2A Western Slope title.

It doesn’t affect the postseason — DeBeque still goes down to Class 1A for the playoffs, while the Saints have already locked up the No. 1 seed in the Class 2A District 5 Tournament. 

But Vail Christian has never won the whole league before — we’ll explain later — and it really serves as motivation going into the regular-season finale Friday night at Soroco.

“It’s their Senior Night. We’re playing for a league title,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “It should be a healthy environment.”

Well put, Coach.

At 15-2 overall, the Saints don’t need any slip-ups as they try to improve their ratings-percentage index — holding at No. 8 as of this writing — as the postseason approaches.

Against North Park, the Saints just pummeled the Panthers as a good team should. Vail Christian scored 75 points in three quarters and called it a day.

Jamison Lee and Alec Moritz combined for 40. Everybody and their brother, which really does apply to this team, played and scored, making for as fun of a day as one can have near the Wyoming border.

In ye olden days — 2011 and 2012 — Vail Christian won the Gore League when the current 2A Slope was split in two — the other side was the Mesa. The Gore had Vail Christian, Vail Mountain, Hayden, North Park, Soroco and West Grand.

While it was a nice accomplishment at the time, the beef of the Slope — Meeker, Paonia, Hotchkiss, Rangely, DeBeque and  Plateau Valley — was in the Mesa.

In the girls game, Vail Christian took down North Park, 57-51, behind 25 points from Grace McCurdy.


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