Saints use 3-pointers to run away with game against Hayden |

Saints use 3-pointers to run away with game against Hayden

Hayden High School senior Ty Blackwell dribbles around Vail Christian junior Leo Rothenberg during a game on Friday night in Hayden. The Tigers were looking for a win in their home opener against the Saints. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

HAYDEN — The Vail Christian boys basketball team weathered the storm on its way to Hayden, and Hayden High School had to weather the Saints once they got there.

Vail Christian used six 3-pointers to build an 18-4 lead in the first quarter and rode that momentum all the way to a 53-34 victory on Friday night.

The Saints were led by their outside shooting. Junior Vincent Nowicki opened the game with back-to-back shots from deep, followed by one from junior Leo Rothenberg and one from sophomore Quinn Downey. Nowicki added another, as did Theo Moritz.

The onslaught could not be stopped. The Saints had no problem moving the ball around Hayden’s defenders. Usually, just two passes was enough to find a wide-open player who then scored.

By halftime, Vail Christian developed a 29-8 lead.

“(The Saints) were 3-for-30 at the three-point line against Moffat County, 2-for-11 against Rangely on Tuesday night. We just didn’t expect quite the barrage that came out early, right away” said Hayden head coach Mike Luppes.

Hayden scored more points in the fourth quarter than they did the rest of the game.

Vail Christian junior Connor Downey gets his hand in front of Hayden senior Liam Frentress during a game on Friday night in Hayden. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

Senior Liam Frentress and junior Logan Morrison hit 3-pointers, as did senior Andrew Kleckler. Frentress netted seven of his team-high nine points in the final quarter. Senior Angel Valdez added a bucket along with senior Dustin McLaughlin.

The offensive uptick started towards the end of the third. Well-timed passes found seniors Ty Blackwell and Hunter Slowik for back-to-back 3-pointers. Their buckets made the score 38-14 with a minute left in the third quarter.

If Vail Christian hadn’t developed such a huge lead, the final quarter would have been an entertaining shootout as the squads took turns scoring from behind the arc.

Luppes isn’t entirely sure why the shots started falling in the fourth, but is happy they did.

“We had offense in the first half, we just couldn’t make shots,” he said. “We had a lot of good looks, a lot of good shots. They weren’t going in. Our effort was good, our aggressiveness was good. Defensively, for as many three’s as they were hitting, 29 points isn’t a bad half. We could have been there with them if we hit any percentage of our shots.”

Additionally, Valdez was a tank on the boards particularly on the defensive end. The big-bodied senior was in most of the game, wiping sweat off his face with an orange towel during timeouts.

Frentress was always ready to dash back to the defensive end and guard a breakaway shooter, earning an impressive block in the second half.

Vail Christian 53, Hayden 34

H 4 4 6 20 – 34

VC 18 12 14 10 – 53

Scoring: VC, Vinny Nowicki 13, Leo Rothenberg 10. H, Liam Frentress 9, Ty Blackwell 7, Hunter Slowik 6, Andrew Kleckler 5, Logan Morrison 3, Angel Valdez 2, Dustin McLaughlin 2.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User