Vail Christian rolls past Gilpin County
BLACK HAWK, Colorado ” After two losses of 20 points or more last weekend, one could understand why Vail Christian girls basketball coach Doug Bruce was worried about his team’s morale.
It’s much better after Tuesday’s 60-10 win at Gilpin County, thank you very much.
“It was nice to get a win,” Brooke Bowles said. “It kind of good to be on the other side of (a rout). It really boosts our confidence. Hopefully, we can keep it up and keep on winning.”
The Saints blanked the Eagles 16-0 in the first quarter and never looked back on the way to a season-high in points.
“With our defense, we tried a little pressure,” Bruce said. “We had a good start and everybody relaxed. We played much better. We might have been a little too tight in the past. Maybe, we learned something about playing and relaxing.”
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Dakota Francis led the Saints with 10 points and seven rebounds. That likely makes the Francis family the first at Vail Christian to have three siblings to lead their teams in scoring in a game. (Jaryd, Class of 2008 and her sister, Sammy, a senior, have done it before.)
Tracy Salgado and Bowles scored eight points each. Bowles and McKenzie O’Brien each had five steals.
The Saints (3-6) return home for a 2A Slope game against West Grand Friday at 6 p.m. This tilt puts Vail Christian in an interesting position as the favorite since the Saints defeated the Mustangs in Kremmling last month, 41-29.
“We’re not looking at it that way,” Bruce said. “We regard it as a test. West Grand will be fired up because maybe we took them by surprise. It’s going to be a good measuring stick as to who’s improved the most since we last played.”
Boys win third straight
BLACK HAWK ” With apologies to “Sesame Street,” Vail Christian boys basketball was brought to you Tuesday by the Nos. 3 and 14 and the letter “W.”
The Saints dismantled Gilpin County, 59-31, for their third-straight win, and three different players ” Will Parker, A.J. Burgess and Chris Schmidt ” had 14 points each.
Schmidt seems to be getting used to the 14-point night. He put up a pair of touchdowns last weekend against both Paonia and North Park.
“It’s his lucky number,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns joked. “He’s not allowed to score 15.”
While Schmidt’s been on a nice roll, Kuhns was doubtless pleased to see both of his backcourt guys, Parker and Burgess, start to get their scoring touch back as the team hits the meat of its league schedule.
“We kind of expected it (from Parker and Burgess) from the beginning,” Kuhns said. “But back in December, we struggled to get into our transition game. That’s really the difference. Once we score on the transition, it sets up our half-court game.”
And the transition or half-court game starts with the defense, which had been outstanding for the Saints since the holiday break. Also of note was Vail Christian’s balance between the guards and paint players. While Schmidt did his usual 14 points, the Saints were without Larry Cavanaugh ” out with the flu. Devan Christie (seven points) and Kieran Hurtt (six points) stepped up nicely.
Vail Christian (5-3) will try to make it four in a row when it hosts West Grand Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.