Vail Valley preps wrap for Saturday: Vail Christian, Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley basketball and Huskies hockey
SILT — No, Coal Ridge is not in the league.
“I didn’t realize Coal Ridge was an out-of-league opponent until after the game,” new Vail Christian girls basketball coach Cynthia Robinson said after the Saints fell to the Titans, 39-17, on Saturday.
And everyone associated with 2A Vail Christian basketball is thrilled that the Titans play in the 3A Slope. After all, the Saints boys dropped an 85-58 decision to No. 3-ranked Coal Ridge on Saturday, as well.
The Saints girls enter the holiday break at 3-3, while the gents are 2-4, yet it’s been a productive December/nonconference slate for both squads.
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Both teams return only one starter — Sarah Heredia and Zach McKeever. Both teams have talent that needs to get tested at the varsity level. And both sets of Saints have spent a good portion of the season playing bigger-sized 3A and 4A teams.
Along those lines, the Saints got big wins over 3A Aspen on Friday night. The ladies downed the Skiers 43-28 behind Grace McCurdy’s 12 points and 10 from Zoey Barela.
Meanwhile, the guys bopped Aspen, 66-53. Of note for Sheldon Kuhns’ squad, the Saints got off to a quick start, 22 points in the first quarter. Since the Saints were blanked in the first period against Eagle Valley and only put up three during the first eight minutes against DSST-Byers, that was a point of emphasis.
Alec Moritz, Jamison Lee, McKeever and E.J. Koller all in double digits in points, and Kuhns surprisingly called Friday night, “a good team win.”
Again, the getting-everyone-up-to-speed angle in December is the point of emphasis for this phase of the season.
“I think we played our best basketball of the year this weekend,” said Kuhns, who could have just as well been speaking for Robinson. “The guys are gelling and looking more like a cohesive unit.”
The Saints open the 2A Slope, which does not include Coal Ridge, season on Jan. 5 at Plateau Valley.
Huskies basketball falls
Battle Mountain boys basketball had a rough weekend with nonconference losses to Mead, 82-45, and Evergreen, 65-45.
This would be a good time to remember that the Huskies (3-5) play one of the tougher nonconference slates of the local teams with regard to the rating-percentage index, which will be a benefit come late February.
Meanwhile, Battle Mountain’s girls fell to Soroco, 44-38, and Evergreen, 54-22.
Both teams are home on Tuesday against Grand Junction at 5:30 and 7 p.m.
Huskies hockey ties Pine Creek
Battle Mountain hockey made a point and earned one, as well, with a 3-3 tie at Pine Creek on Saturday morning down in Colorado Springs.
The Huskies (2-1-2) fell behind the Eagles 3-1 during the final period, but rallied for the draw in nonconference play.
“It’s nice to see resilience in the team,” Huskies coach Derek Byron said. “We didn’t fall apart when we were down by two in the third period. It’s good to see them fight back.”
The Huskies got off to a bit of a slow start with a 9:15 a.m. start — in high school hockey, you play the game when you get the ice time. Joey Beveridge to Harry Green got Battle Mountain on the board.
Down 3-1, Beveridge scored short-handed, igniting the rally. Parker Nash from Harry Green drew Battle Mountain even.
Coach Byron gave out postgame kudos to freshman keeper Logan Gammer as well as defenseman Alex Parliament and center Bronson Fiore for their solid play.
The Huskies wrap pre-holiday play on Monday against Summit County on Monday at Eagle Pool & Ice Rink at 7 p.m.
Devils top Cardinals
Eagle Valley boys basketball moved to 4-2 on the season with a 64-51 win at Grand Valley on Saturday.
The Devils will try to keep it going when they head to Montrose on Tuesday.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.