Vail Valley preps wrap: Huskies and Saints hoops
The playoffs are here for winter preps sports teams, and they come with a dose of history.
Battle Mountain boys basketball is hosting a playoff game for the first time in 12 years. Vail Christian boys basketball overcame some history to earn the No. 3 seed in the District 5 Tournament, while Vail Christian girls basketball unfortunately relived some history.
Yes, it has been 12 years since Battle Mountain has been home for the playoffs.
So, summon memories of Josh Ruark, T.J. Montoya, Derek Rush, Connor Drumm and Trent Beckley.
The 2006 team beat Montrose in that game, advancing to play Evergreen.
Were the Huskies, seeded No. 25, to beat No. 40 Greeley Central on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m., they would play … Evergreen in the next round.
Battle Mountain enters the dance with 13-9 record after beating Eagle Valley, 96-54, and Palisade 90-74, in double overtime last week.
Beating the Devils was payback for the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Taking down the Bulldogs was good playoff preparation.
“That was the whole train of thought,” Huskies coach Phil Tronsrue said. “We wanted to go into the postseason with momentum and we could get that by winning our last two ball games.”
Before the Palisade game, the Huskies honored their seniors, Devin Huffman, Qwahn Kent, David Caballero and Kingston Lindner.
As for Greeley Central, Tronsrue said he’s getting some game film from Glewnood Springs coach Corey Hitchcock. The Demons beat the Wildcats, 59-45, back in December.
“We know that they’re guard oriented,” Tronsrue said. “But we’re really excited to get them at home.”
Last year, Vail Christian boys basketball’s season came to an end with consecutive losses to Hotchkiss, including a desperation buzzer beater during the first round of districts.
The Saints got payback with a regular season ending win over the Bulldogs, 52-49, in Hotchkiss.
The takeaway was that the bigs won this game for Vail Christian (15-4). Zach McKeever was an absolute beast with 17 points and 16 rebounds, while Ethan Kuhns had 10 points, including five during overtime.
Bryan Trujillo had the big steal and layup to send into overtime.
“It’s pretty sweet,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “I have seen the guys celebrate like that on the court or in the locker room in a while.”
The gents will be home for the first round of the District 5 Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 21, against the winner of a play-in game between Plateau Valley and Hayden.
Remember how the boys lost last season on a buzzer beater in Hotchkiss. Well, that’s how the Vail Christian girls basketball lost to the Bulldogs, 40-38. The Saints (13-6) will still be home for Round 1 of districts against Paonia on Wednesday.
Battle Mountain hockey (6-13) slid into the state playoffs as the No. 21 seed. The Huskies are at Dakota Ridge on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.