Vail Valley preps wrap for Tuesday
EDWARDS – Vail Christian boys basketball may be a lot of things, but the Saints are not dull.
Vail Christian, playing a very uptempo game, went back-and-forth with conference rival Hayden Tuesday night before falling, 80-70.
While putting up 70 points is promising – in the program’s nascent days 70 points in two games would have been good – the defensive end, particularly the visiting Tigers’ offensive rebounding, is a point of concern for Vail Christian.
“They played well around the rim, give them credit,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said, then pausing to choose his words carefully. “It’s not for lack of effort because we work hard on it every day. We know we struggle. Sometimes, we’re in the right spot. Lots of times, we’re not. They were quicker off the floor, too. Even when were in position, they got a few boards.”
Vail Christian looked like the talented young squad that it is. At times, the Saints displayed a very high “wow factor.” In the first quarter, the Saints raced out to a 14-5 lead with senior Teller Emmer scoring nine straight points. The senior finished with 15. Vail Christian’s guards are dynamic. Robby Bowles (21) and Fernando Hernandez (18) combined for 39 points.
But with a young team – Emmer’s the only senior on the roster – comes lulls in play as well as a lack of size. Give any team multiple chances under the net and the opponent will score. Give a good team like Hayden those same opportunities, and it’s lights out. Case in point, the Tigers’ Jorge Valdez put in 27 points, most of those at close range.
Hayden took control of the game in the third quarter, scoring 24 points in eight minutes. A lot of those came from the paint on second and third chances.
Behind 3s from Hernandez and Bowles as well as a pair of freebies from Emmer, the Saints got to within 63-60 with 5:01 left in the game, but could close no further.
Vail Christian (2-4) hosts Gilpin County Friday at 5 p.m., preceded by the ladies at 3:30 p.m.
Huskies down Summit, 63-40
FARMER’S KORNER – Don’t touch Battle Mountain’s Irving Ruacho. He’s probably still hot.
Ruacho had five from downtown as a part of 21 points total as Battle Mountain knocked off Summit County, 63-40, Tuesday night.
“We talked about just playing better,” said Battle Mountain coach Tom Padilla, whose team improved to 7-3. “We played well against Delta. We’re getting better, but I don’t want it to be like in (December) when we played well and then played poorly.”
This is of particular import as Steamboat Springs comes calling on Friday (girls at 6 p.m.; boys at 7:30 p.m.). Padilla said that while his squad is off to a good start, the Huskies need to throw their collective hat into the ring against league powers like the Sailors as well Glenwood Springs.
Cody Hervert had nine points and nine rebounds against the Tigers, while Eric Gurule had eight points. Joe LyBarger had eight steals to go with four assists. Joe Webb came off the bench to provide some much-needed energy and six rebounds.
Huskies girls come close
EDWARDS – Battle Mountain girls basketball nearly pulled out a win Tuesday night, falling just short of Summit County, 48-46.
“It gives us a huge boost,” Huskies coach Andrew Schmid said. “We were talking about need to get ourselves up to our potential and we did that tonight. The only thing that held us back was turnovers. We played a great game and fought all the way to the end.”
Kenia Olivas had 18 points, followed by Misha Harrison (12) and Katia Lopez (nine). Shauna Roberts had 12 rebounds for the Huskies.
Devils fall at Fruita
FRUITA – Call it a warm-up for the weekend.
Despite a 63-35 loss at Fruita Monument, the 4A Eagle Valley boys basketball feels good about going back to league play Friday against Moffat County and Saturday at Steamboat Springs.
“Both of those teams are well-prepared, scrappy and fundamentally-sound, and Fruita was all of those things and more,” Devils coach Brent McConaghey said. “Most importantly, Fruita played at such a fast pace, it showed us that we’re not fast enough right now. It was a good experience for us.”
Jeremy Sabo had 11 points, while James Van Dyke had seven.
Meanwhile, the girls also struggled out west, falling to Fruita, 61-24.
“I don’t think it’s the size of the school,” Devils coach Sam Bartlett said. “It’s coming together as a team. When we go into a game, we have to battle together and pick each other up. We’re still working on that.”
Cori Cramer had 14 points for Eagle Valley.
Both teams are at home Friday for Moffat.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.