Vail Christian downs West Grand, 60-40
EDWARDS, Colorado ” Vail Christian forward Larry Cavanaugh had four fouls Friday night, and had to sit for a good portion of his team’s game against West Grand. Earlier in the season, this would have been a major problem for the Saints.
Not on Friday.
Vail Christian’s offense finally woke up with contributions from everyone concerned on the way to an easy 60-40 win against the Mustangs.
“Larry was in foul trouble all night and that took part of our 1-2 punch (with Chris Schmidt) away in the post,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “They were playing that packed in a 1-1-3 zone and we needed to hit those shots.”
Guards Will Parker and A.J. Burgess started it with some key early 3s, and soon, it was contagious. Granger Moch, Devan Christie, Kieran Hurtt and Schmidt combined for 28 points and the Saints were off to the races, leading by 15 at the half and by as much as 24 in the second half on their way to their fourth-straight win.
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“I think it’s a confidence thing,” said Parker, who had a team-high 14 points “We’re finally building our confidence. It’s great to see guys knocking down shots.”
Parker’s backcourt partner, Burgess, also got his shooting touch going with 13.
The only downer for the Saints, 6-3 overall and 3-0 in the 2A Slope, were a few defensive lapses in the second half.
“We started hitting shots, so we got a little contented to trade baskets,” Kuhns said.
“You can still hit shots and still play shut-down defense. Our M.O. this year is that we play pretty good defense, so we’ll be fine.”
The Saints start the meat of their Slope schedule at Meeker today. The Cowboys were 7-1 going into Friday night’s game at Roaring Fork. Nevertheless, Vail Christian is brimming with confidence, riding a four-game winning streak.
“We’re realizing the importance of winning,” Parker said. “This is our last shot, especially for the four seniors on the team. We going to go out as good as we can.”
Mustangs down Lady Saints
The press has not been kind to the Vail Christian girls basketball team.
Friday night didn’t break that trend.
Visiting West Grand’s defense forced a bevy of Saints’ turnovers on the way to a 40-17 win.
“It’s a continuing problem,” Vail Christian coach Doug Bruce said. “Every team that’s pressed us has caused us to play offense like we’re playing with a time bomb or something. I don’t know what the answer is to it.”
Bruce is trying to have the Saints reverse the ball from one side of the court to the other to break the press and get easy buckets, but it was to no avail against the Mustangs. Alexis Ellsworth led the Saints with seven points, while Michelle Disher had six.
Vail Christian is at Meeker today.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.