Hotchkiss' boys won twice in hardwood action this past weekend beginning with their visit to Paonia Jan. 18 where they avenged an earlier season loss with a 55-50 win (see related story). The Bulldogs traveled to Vail Mountain (Vail) on Saturday and reported a 50-33 win to bring their season record to 3-1 in 2A District 5 play and 7-4 overall.
Hotchkiss 50, VM 33
An ugly first half in Vail translated into an 11-point first half that most likely has long been forgotten. The Gore Rangers (3-2, 4-7) fared some better with a 22-point first half and looked to have control of the game.
Hotchkiss' Eli Kirk provided an offensive spark in the third quarter igniting a 13-6 run which brought the Bulldogs to within four (28-24) with eight minutes left to play.
The Bulldogs' defense asserted itself to limit Vail Mountain to just five points in the final period. Meanwhile, Sam Rodriguez highlighted a Hotchkiss scoring burst which produced 26 points to help the Bulldogs run away with the game.
Rodriguez scored 13 of his game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter, including an 8-8 performance from the free throw line. Jonathan Gonzalez hit a pair of three-balls in the period to add six more points in the run. Gonzalez had one other three-point goal in the third period to finish with nine points.
Kirk's offensive contributions in the game included six points in the third frame and he finished with 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Marc Philippon scored all 11 of his team-high 11 points for the Gore Rangers in the first half. Finn Connolly added nine points (seven in the second half) and Garrett Sampson had eight.
Hotchkiss has a pair of home games this week with Hayden coming to town Jan. 26 for varsity games 6/7:30 p.m. (girls and boys).
League-leading Soroco (5-0, 8-4) plays in Hotchkiss on Saturday for afternoon games.