Boys earn split in league games |

Boys earn split in league games

Larry Banman
Grand County, CO Colorado

The West Grand High School boys’ basketball team played two close and exciting Western Slope League games this past weekend and found themselves on both ends of the scoreboard.

In each game, the Mustangs scored 59 points. On Friday night, that was enough to defeat Vail Christian, 59-53, but on Saturday it wasn’t enough to overcome the 64 points scored by Paonia.

West Grand was the host school in the Vail Christian contest and led throughout the majority of the contest. The Mustangs built a solid lead in the fourth quarter and then held on as the team from Vail made a valiant comeback.

Stetson Sabados and Tim Ritschard led the team in scoring with 14 points apiece. Sabados hit some key freethrows down the stretch to help seal the victory.

Ritschard was also the leading rebounder with 12, while Luke Miller grabbed 11 caroms. Fletcher Flanigan and Travis Gore each had five steals to lead the team in that category.

Coach Leo Pesch said the Mustangs did a good job of making enough good plays down the stretch to hold off Vail Christian.

On Saturday, the Mustangs had a slow start and found themselves staring at a double-digit deficit in the first half. Employing fullcourt pressure, West Grand was able to slowly chip away and take the lead in the third quarter.

The final frame was back and forth as both teams traded baskets and defensive intensity. In a critical play down the stretch, Gore grabbed an offensive rebound and converted a short jumper that would have knotted the score. It wasn’t to be, however, as he was called for an offensive foul.

Paonia was able to score on the ensuing possession and the Mustangs were never able to make up that difference. Gore and Flanigan each fouled out down the stretch.

Leading West Grand in scoring were Gore and Ritschard, each of whom netted 15 points. Miller and Ritschard were the leading rebounders, with seven and six respectively. Gore led the team in assists with seven and in steals with five.

The Mustangs hosted North Park on Tuesday of this week and will host Rangely in a league game scheduled for Saturday.