GREENWOOD VILLAGE — Mountain Vista boys basketball won the annual Cherry Creek Holiday Classic on Saturday with a 67-57 win over Legend.
"Give it to them, they earned it," Mountain Vista head coach Bob Wood said as the champions plaque was given to his Golden Eagles.
Depth was the difference-maker in this game for Mountain Vista.
"We have a little bit more depth than they do, some of their better players just got tired and that was how we extended our lead," Wood said.
The game was a non-league matchup of Continental League foes. The two teams meet on Jan. 30 in their league matchup.
Saturday, they played to a tie at halftime. From there, it was all about who could adjust, who could respond, and play through, and that is exactly what Mountain Vista did.
Senior guard Sheldon Hafner went down early in the first quarter with an arm injury, and Mountain Vista lost its strongest defender.
"We really wanted him available (to guard Sufyan Elkannan)," Wood said. "When we lost him we had to play some different guys on him. some of the other guys who are better on the offensive side were able to get in so it all balanced out in the end."
Garrett Sweeney had a career night for Vista, dropping 21 points.
"He has struggled in a lot of games with his shot," Wood said. "He is a really good shooter so we felt like he would eventually breakthrough, and he did. He plays hard and is our verbal leader. It was nice to see him have a big game in the championship."
"Felt good, felt confident," Sweeney said on his shot. "I knew the past couple of games my shot wasn't really falling, I wanted to get my teammates involved, and it worked."
"Our whole team, we always want to play hard," Sweeney added. "Keep high effort, all the time on the court, and eventually you will see the results."
As Sweeney and his Eagles move to Continental League play it's about the team.
"We need to push the tempo, like we did today," Sweeney said. "Stay together on defense and continue to help each other, and continue to work hard in practice."
Coming out of the holiday break, Legend will take to the road for a trip to the Western Slope, where the Titans will face Grand Junction on Jan. 5.
Mountain Vista will be heading down South, where the Golden Eagles will face Fountain-Fort Carson on Jan. 4.