Vail Christian’s season ends with loss at Hayden |

Vail Christian’s season ends with loss at Hayden

Vail Christian senior Will Parker looks to block a shot by Hayden High School's Zach Engle during Saturday's playoff game in Hayden. Vail Christian lost 34-51.

HAYDEN, Colorado ” One of these days, the Vail Christian boys basketball team will beat Hayden. It’s just not going the be in the 2008-09 season.

The Saints fell to the Tigers Saturday afternoon, 51-34, in the district quarterfinals to end their season with their third loss of the year to Hayden.

Vail Christian finishes the season with an 8-11 mark.

The Saints lost at Hayden during the nonconference slate in overtime in December, and bowed to the Tigers in league play, 43-30, in Edwards without the services of point guard Will Parker, so Vail Christian had been looking forward to a third crack at Hayden.

“We felt it would be even,” Vail Christian coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “Even as poorly as we played, we were still within striking distance with three minutes to go.

“It’s just disappointing to end the season like this. I feel for the four seniors who worked so hard over the last four years. Their goal and dream was to go out on a higher note than this. They worked hard enough for it to happen. It just didn’t work out as well as planned.”

With the loss, Saints basketball said farewell to Parker, A.J. Burgess, Elliot Ristow and Chris Schmidt. While Vail Christian did finish with a February slide, Kuhns tried to keep in perspective the accomplishments of his team in its first year in 2A competition.

The 2A Slope has sent teams to the state finals the last two years in Grand Valley (2007) and Paonia (2008) and the 2009 regular-season champion, Meeker, is ranked third in the state by the Rocky Mountain News.

“Our record is a bit disappointing at first glance, but at the same time, we were really competitive in a really good league. In our first year of 2A, we can be proud of that.”

Out west in Paonia, the girls ran into a powerhouse in No. 3-ranked Paonia, dropping a 59-14 decision to the Eagles.

The Lady Saints finished 6-13 in 2008-09, winning two more games than they did as a 1A school last year.

The Saints seniors are Michelle Disher, Sammy Francis, Allie Parker and Maty Peckham.

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

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