Vail Christian proves it belongs by beating Meeker
MEEKER — Ladies and germs, we officially have a developing situation with Vail Christian boys basketball.
The Saints won at Meeker on Saturday, 61-44, just the second time Vail Christian has ever beaten the Cowboys. Vail Christian has had a basketball team for 19 years and played the Cowboys annually, if not twice per year.
The only other time the Saints had come out on the right end of a Meeker encounter was back on Feb. 8, 2013, a 46-42 victory.
The last time that Vail Christian beat Meeker, it was the beginning of a 10-game winning streak that ended during the Final Four of the state tournament. While previous results do not guarantee the future, it’s safe to say that the team had one of its better bus rides home, compete with the obligatory stop at Sonic at Rifle.
“We never view any league game as more important than another, but the guys got focused, came out as a group mentally and physically ready to go, Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said.
Vail Christian outscored the Cowboys, 13-2, during the first quarter. Meeker’s a physical team that traditionally causes mismatches for the Saints. Not so on Saturday.
Meeker had no answer for senior Zach McKeever, who had a monster day with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Jamison Lee had 15 points and six dimes. Alec Moritz, E.J. Koller and Tommy O’Neil also gave the Saints (5-4 overall and 3-0 in the 2A Slope) a balanced attack.
“It’s huge mentally,” Kuhns said. “It propels us forward. We talked about it in the locker room that it was not a statement game. It was proving game. It proves that we belong.”
The Saints get a brief break from the 2A Slope when they host 3A Basalt on Tuesday before heading to Hotchkiss on Friday. The job is to avoid a letdown.
“We’re there to knock off a 3A team,” Kuhns said. “… I don’t see a letdown for this group.”