Hotchkiss' basketball teams had close games against Vail Christian last week with different outcomes. The girls won their game on a buzzer-beater, 40-38, from Kaiya Firor at midcourt. The boys led late in the game but gave up the tying shot at the end of regulation time forcing an overtime period. The Saints outscored Hotchkiss 7-4 in the extra period to win the game.
Hotchkiss 40, VC 38
Vail Christian's 14-point first quarter seemed to give the Saints momentum early.
Hotchkiss refused to give in and a solid offensive effort in the third quarter produced a 34-33 lead for the Bulldogs. In a low-scoring fourth quarter, Hotchkiss trailed 38-37 with just seconds left in the game. Firor pushed the ball up the court quickly and had to take a shot at the midcourt line. The home crowd's reaction was thunderous when Firor's shot passed through the rim for a three-point goal to make the final score 40-38.
Elsie Vazquez scored 13 points for Hotchkiss with Carson Collins adding eight and Firor and Shay Glaser contributing seven points each.
Vail Christian's Sarah Heredia had 13 points and Jesse Raitt finished with 12.
VC 52, HHS 49 OT
There were runs from both teams but no big leads for either squad throughout the contest.
Hotchkiss had a modest lead in the fourth quarter but could not keep it at a comfortable margin. The Saints kept making contested shots that found their marks too often to suit Hotchkiss fans.
The loss of seven-footer Jacob Stucker to fouls was critical to Hotchkiss' success late in the game. With Stucker's departure Vail Christian found its way more consistently to the rim.
The Saints hit the tying shot late in the fourth quarter and Hotchkiss could not get the shot they needed to end the game forcing an overtime period.
Ethan Kuhns was big for the Saints in the extra period with five of his team's seven points in the overtime. Hotchkiss fell short by three points in the 52-49 loss.
Kuhns finished with 10 points for Vail Christian and Zak McKeever led all scorers with 17 followed by Bryan Trujillo's 14.
Sam Rodriguez finished the game with 13 points and Stucker had nine before departing the game.
District playoffs commence this week with semifinal and final round action scheduled to take place on the campus of De Beque High School Feb. 22-24. See coloradopreps.com for schedules.