Vail Christian runs past Vail Mountain
VAIL – Vail Christian and Vail Mountain School squared off for the first time on the basketball floor Tuesday, and they won’t all go like this, said Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns.
Vail Christian ran all night like they were on a fast break for the Promised Land. Eventually, Vail Mountain couldn’t keep up and the Saints rolled to a 95-36 win.
“It’s good to have an in-valley opponent,” Kuhns said.
This is Vail Mountain School’s first varsity basketball season, and they’re doing just fine. The Gore Rangers played against JV and freshman squads for the last two years, and leaped into the deep end this season. No one is drowning, and no one will, said VMS coach Vinny Cisneros.
“At this stage in our program, we cannot worry about how other teams play. We can control how we play,” Cisneros said.
Vail Christian played like they’d been caged for three days and not fed in a week. They started running when Gunnar Wilson collected an outlet pass after the opening tip, drove to the corner and drilled a 3-pointer from the baseline.
“They shot the lights out. They were on fire,” Cisneros said. “You can play good defense, and I thought we did, but when a team is shooting that well, a good offense will be good defense,” Cisneros said.
It also helped that the Saints had some key players return from injuries, and this was the first game they’d had a bench that deep.
“Our bench was a little deeper tonight that it has been earlier this season. We could play up-tempo all night, as we must do. When we get people out on the open floor it works to our advantage,” Kuhns said.
All 12 Saints scored.
“I don’t think we’ve ever done that before,” Kuhns said.
Robbie Bowles led the Saints with 16 points, Teller Emmer had 13 points and eight rebounds, Granger Moch had 11, Fernando Hernandez scored 10, Kevin Boselli had nine, and sophomore point guard Austin Ellsworth scored nine points and handed out more assists than the Red Cross.
Paco Holguin led VMS with 16 points and center Sean McKeever had 11.
Holguin, McKeever and Nolan Bock, all juniors, helped launch the VMS program when they were freshmen.
The Gore Rangers hung tough as long as they could, but there were Saints everywhere, all the time.
A steal, a couple defensive stops, a couple fast breaks and the Saints jumped out to a 12-6 lead.
Vail Mountain battled back to within two at, 16-14, and closed the first quarter down by four, 18-14, as Vail Christian’s Moch hit a running baseline floater at the buzzer.
Moch opened the second quarter for the Saints the way he ended the first, with a jumper from the baseline. Vail Christian added a couple more 3-pointers and put the game out of reach early.
Vail Christian’s smothering defense held VMS to just four points in the second quarter, while the Saints rolled up 29 of their own for a 47-18 halftime lead.
The win squared the Saints at 5-5 on the season.
“With everyone back, we can use this to jump start our league play,” Kuhns said.
Vail Christian plays a league game Thursday against West Grand and Saturday against Plateau Valley.
Contact Vail Daily staff writer Randy Wyrick at 970-748-2935, or email email@example.com.