Vail Christian boys use 13-4 run in the fourth quarter to topple the Titans on Senior Day
After the Vail Christian boys basketball game against Crested Butte Saturday afternoon, senior center Matt Seatvet was just lying on the floor of the Saints’ locker room, nursing his bad back.
“I’m pretty beat. I used all my energy out there,” he said, while looking up at the ceiling of the room.
The Saints left everything they had on the floor of the gym at St. Clare – and it was worth it. Vail Christian logged its first home win of the season – and the Saints did it on Senior Day – coming from behind to beat Crested Butte, 47-42.
“It’s great,” said senior Kyle Morris who poured in a game-high 23 points in his home finale. “But the main thing is that we got to play. With Matt and I, it’s our last (home game). It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it and I hope the crowd did, too.”
Kyle, we’re pretty sure the Saints’ faithful did. A crowd will get fired up over a fourth-quarter comeback, fueled by a 13-4 run.
The Saints trailed for most of the game. They did manage to take a 34-32 lead with 6:02 left in the game, but the Titans seemed to take control with consecutive 3-pointers from Mike Jiganti and Davis Velardi.
Down 38-34, the Saints’ hustle and toughness started to pay dividends.
“Our whole philosophy today was to win the rebound battle,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “We didn’t do it in the first half. We did it in the second half. We knew we would give up a couple shots, but we wanted to stay true to the zone because we knew we could get the boards, get it out to Kyle and we’d get layups at the other end. And ultimately, we’d outlast them, and we did.”
Seatvet started it with a five-footer and a Morris layup tied it at 38. Crested Butte went ahead on a bucket from Velardi, who led the Titans with 20 points.
Enter Peter Ferguson. The senior scored just three points, but as Morris so succinctly put it they were, “Big. Big. Big.” Ferguson drained a 3 from way downtown, giving the Saints a 41-40 lead. The Titans tied the game with a free throw, but Ferguson’s trey was the knockout punch.
“That was intense,” Seatvet said. “It just brought the whole team up. It was like a 55-footer. So it was just huge. It was awesome.”
OK, it wasn’t 55 feet, but you get the picture. The Saints were flying. Seatvet got two buckets inside to complete his 11-point game. Jonathan Armstead and Josh Sibley (nine points) had big rebounds, ending Titans’ possessions, and Morris finished it off with a layup.
“Kyle is just our spark plug and when he’s out there doing the things he’s doing, even if he makes some mistakes, it doesn’t matter because he gives us energy,” Kuhns said. “And Matt, in the high post, is the stabilizing factor in the half court. When they come up on him, we dump it to Sibley. Or if they didn’t come up on him, he would drive to the basket.”
Saturday was also the home finale for senior Rye Miller, who was one of those tough character players, who constantly sacrificed for the team. He likely played one of his best games of the year Saturday.
“As a senior, this was Rye’s first year playing basketball,” Kuhns said. “He gives it his all. The thing I love about Rye is that he wants to be as good as a four-year player like Matt or Kyle. He has the desire to be the best.”
Next up for Vail Christian is a road game at Aspen’s JV. The tip is at 7 p.m.
As for Seatvet. He’ll be ready. We’re proud to report he’s off the locker-room floor and moving around.
Lady Saints lose home finale
There’s a reason the Los Angeles Lakers’ Phil Jackson has nine NBA title rings as a coach.
And Vail Christian girls basketball coach Patrick Beaudine, whose team hosted Crested Butte Saturday, definitely takes a cue from Jackson.
“When the season started, we always talked about Phil Jackson and how he emphasizes three things with his team,” Beaudine said. “He emphasizes love, selflessness and discipline. In the second half, our discipline broke down. We started losing focus. We started giving up uncontested shots. We let them back in the game on defense. On offense, we weren’t executing. We weren’t cutting as hard as we do in practice. That was the game.”
Unfortunately, it was, The Saints led by as much as 23-13 in the third quarter before falling to the Titans, 45-41.
On Senior Day, freshman Danielle Cavanaugh led the Saints with 14. Rachel Glandorf was right behind her with 13.
Though Senior Day didn’t go as planned, Beaudine had nothing but praise for his three seniors.
n Brooke Horan-Kates: “Brooke Horan-Kates is hard to replace. She is a great young woman. She is a fiery competitor. She’s a leader. She has a heart for God. It’s going to be very hard to replace Brooke.”
n Brittany Wright: “I don’t think anybody has thrown her body down on the floor to grab a loose ball more in a three-year period than Brittany Wright. She is gutsy. She is a hard worker. She is a leader.”
n Krista Fox: “Krista Fox is one of the greatest young women. She is a hard worker. She is a fan favorite. When she getx out there she gives 100 percent all the time. She’s one of the most coachable girls I’ve coached, if not the most coachable.”
Vail Christian is next at Aspen’s JV Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Lady Huskies fall at Palisade
Battle Mountain girls basketball had a tough go of it Saturday night at Palisade, falling 62-36.
The Huskies were facing some formidable conditions, especially given that after Friday night’s win at Delta, the team’s bus got a flat tire. The Huskies didn’t arrive at their hotel until 1 a.m. and the girls didn’t get to sleep until 2 a.m.
Nevertheless, Battle Mountain put up a good fight, trailing only 9-8 after the first quarter, before Palisade took over. Sara LyBarger led the team with nine points. Alexis Guinn had eight and Katie Hite seven.
“We just played a phenomenal game against Delta (Friday) night,” coach David Hite said. “We were well-balanced. We played great defense. The road just took it out of us.”
Battle Mountain is at Steamboat Thursday for a 6 p.m. game.