Vail Christian heads to Cedaredge, district tourney | VailDaily.com

Vail Christian heads to Cedaredge, district tourney

Chris Freud
KRISTIN ANDERSON |

OK, we are wearing a Saints shirt today.

It’s the 2013 edition — the first Vail Christian basketball team to go to the state tournament.

Read two things into it:

1) I still need to do laundry.

2) The Saints are the only winter teams still going.

FYI, I have an Eagle Valley water bottle on my desk as well as a Huskies foam finger, and I usually wear enough orange to show that I love the Vail Mountain School.

OK, back to the Saints. The Vail Christian boys face Paonia today at 4:30 p.m., while the ladies take on Cedaredge at 6 p.m. Both games are in delightful Cedaredge. (Why can’t they put this tournament in Rifle? That’s nice and central, for crying out loud.)

OK, back to the Saints, part II.

Gentlemen, let’s try not to play like we did against North Park. Freud will now engage in pop culture, “That was U.G.L.Y. You ain’t got no alibi.” (As a side note, this is why Freud does not do pop-culture references often.)

Now, we can count on Sug Ellsworth to throw down 34 points and 21 rebounds against Paonia as he did against DeBeque. That would be nice. Put it in your suggestion box, Sug.

A more practical idea might be — Sug, go get Dagan Rienks, who looks like the Eagles’ big guy. Sug, you wear No. 24, the great number of the great Willie Mays, but I’d like to see you wearing No. 34, Reinks’ number by the end of the day.

A suggestion, guys

And this brings us to our theme — defense. Sure, if every Saints starter goes off for 30 points, Vail Christian scores 150 points, and I like the Saints’ chances.

Welcome to the postseason, when people don’t score 30. You must defend and rebound and then rebound and defend and then do those two things some more. And, of course, this is not just Sug, but Cooper Gould, Alex Davis, Logan Raitt, Danny Caballero and Mason Daniels.

In the finest tradition of Vail Christian boys basketball, this is post team. (If you haven’t played Sheldon Kuhns: The Home Game, his teams are usually all guards or all posts. It’s how it works.) Let’s use our post-i-ness.

Regardless of whether that’s a word, use that size and crush the glass. Make it a forest in the paint.

I’m still hacked that you guys lost to Paonia, 79-59, last year. Yes, there were some mitigating circumstances to that one, but I’ve got a memory like an elephant. I still don’t like the Cardinals because Jose Oquendo hit a three-run shot off Atlee Hammaker and the Giants during the 1987 NLCS, when I was a sophomore in high school. If I’m not over that, I’m certainly not over you guys losing to Paonia last year. (And, yes, we may invoke the line from “Airplane II,” “Over Macho Grande? No, I’ll never be over Macho Grande.”)

Go. Do. Fight. Win.

Next year?

OK, first off, as far as the fine ladies of Saints basketball go, here’s what I hope has been happening. Every member of the team must have made good chicken soup for Jessie Raitt so everyone’s favorite freshman point guard is feeling better.

Also, I’m just going to assume that everyone has been carrying Kass Baker around in a litter to assorted classes, etc., so that her hip has recovered.

This can be one of two things today. Cedaredge is not only 18-1 and the home team and more experienced. The Bruins can win as expected or this can be a coming out party for the young and talented Saints.

This is a different Vail Christian girls basketball team. Nine times, or nearly half the regular season slate, the team has scored 50 or more points in a game. In the previous three seasons, the ladies have scored 50-plus five times.

Play some defense and get out there and run in transition. There’s a tendency, looking at the roster, that next year is “The Year” for the Saints.

Horse-pucky.

This can be the “The Year.” The more you play on the big stage, the better. “The Year/Next Year” is now, ladies.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934.