Wheat Ridge upsets Eagle Valley, ending Devils’ season
GYPSUM — Talk about the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
All seasons must end, but five in one day?
Eagle Valley boys basketball was part of Black Wednesday with a 58-56 loss to Wheat Ridge during the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
“You’ve got to look at the overall body of work,” Devils coach Chris Walls said. “We’ve come a long way, coming off 0-20 when I took over. They put in some good work. It’s a tough one to end on, especially knowing — again — we had our opportunities and didn’t complete it.”
In some ways, Wednesday night was a microcosm of the Devils’ season — nothing came easily, but they nearly pulled it out in the end.
As is customary for a playoff game, both teams were over-amped early and couldn’t hit the water if they were collectively sitting in a beach chair.
Eagle Valley didn’t score until there was 3:05 left in the first quarter. The Devils (14-10) were down 10-7 at the end of the first and by as much 10 during the second.
Dawson Kellor, Garrett Martin and Jesus Loera started pulling Eagle Valley back into it.
Down 29-24 after 16 minutes, Arturo Loera jarred a 3 to start the second half and all seemed well again for Eagle Valley. Jesus Loera scored twice to tie the game at 29 and 31. Though the visiting Farmers took a brief lead in the third quarter, Martin heated up with Eagle Valley’s last nine points of that period for a 43-42 lead.
Martin made it 11 in a row to start the fourth. Keller had a field goal and four smooth free throws and Eagle Valley led, 51-46, with 4:36 left.
Wheat Ridge’s Naishon Thomas and Travis Cowan scored the next two field goals, but Martin sank a 3 for a 54-50 Devils lead. The Farmers retook the lead with a Thomas 3 and a layup from Cowan. Keller tied it at 55 with a free throw.
Wheat Ridge’s Anthony Tate scored what would be the game-winner with 2:05 left.
While Eagle Valley had some chances late, the Devils couldn’t close it out.
Rangely 48, Saints girls 40
RANGELY — The fine town of Rangely apparently is where Vail Christian’s Sarah Heredia goes off, but Saints girls basketball continues to struggle offensively.
Vail Christian’s season ended on Wednesday night with a 48-40 loss to Rangely during the District 5 Tournament quarterfinals.
“It was a tight game the whole way. We had to foul at the end,” Saints coach Beth Raitt said. “We just didn’t make the layups and the free throws.”
In an eerie repeat of the regular-season game between the two teams, Heredia led Vail Christian (10-10) with 15 points, while Marti Schmidt had 10.
“It was a fun season,” Raitt said. “The takeaway is that we need to work on mental toughness to do the little things that matter.”
Hotchkiss 65, Saints boys 63
HOTCHKISS — Hotchkiss and Vail Christian played another classic on Wednesday night and the Bulldogs came away with another tight win.
Hotchkiss’ Sam Rodriguez hit 23-footer at the buzzer, sending Vail Christian packing after a 65-63 loss during the quarterfinals of the District 5 Tournament. Vail Christian’s regular season also ended with a 72-71 loss to the Bulldogs.
“I’ve never felt that good after a loss at districts, and we’ve had some tough losses at districts,” said Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns, who’s coached the school’s boys team since its inception. “The way this group of young kids grew and learned to compete was wonderful. We battled and battled the last month. We didn’t play perfect basketball, but we played Vail Christian basketball, hard and relentless.”
Sebastian Moritz went off for 29, while Zach McKeever finished with 11 and Joseph Emmer had 10 for Vail Christian (8-12).
Plateau Valley 56, Vail Mountain 48
EAST VAIL — Vail Mountain School basketball’s first home playoff game was a heartbreaker with Plateau Valley beating the Gore Rangers, 56-48, during Wednesday night’s District 5 Tournament quarterfinals.
This one was decided at the line. VMS (10-5) was 6-for-22 from the charity stripe, while the visiting Cowboys were 25-for-42. One does not need to be a math student to figure out how that impacted the game.
“When you step back from it, you’re proud of what the team accomplished and what the seniors created,” VMS coach Travis Aldrich said. “We want to see it continue in the future.”
Marc Phillipon led the Gore Rangers with 12 points, while Liam Hurley had 10.
Skyview 48, Huskies boys 33
THORNTON — That one quarter got Battle Mountain boys basketball again.
The Huskies scored just four points during the first quarter of their first-round, state-playoff game on Wednesday night en route to a 48-33 loss to Skyview.
“That’s something we’ve talked about as a coaching staff,” Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue said. “You can’t have a single-digit quarter. That always comes back to haunt you.”
Down 16-4 after one, the Huskies (8-14) were competitive, but the damage had been done.