AJ Smethers

Buena Vista’s AJ Smethers plays some tough defense against Salida last week.

The Buena Vista Demons made two trips to Salida to play basketball last week.

The first game was the final regular season Tri-Peaks League game, but even with a fast start, the Demons dropped the game 59-41 to Chaffee County rival Spartans.

When the week of league play was completed, Salida finished sixth and Buena Vista 11th.

That result had the two teams paired on Saturday in the first round of district tournament play and Buena Vista traveled to Salida again.

In the repeat match up the Spartans managed a similar number with 58, but Buena Vista only scored 19.

The Spartan gym was packed for the annual Chaffee County rivalry game Feb. 18, a healthy environment for a high school basketball game. The visiting crowd from the north had a lot to cheer about early when their Demons jumped out to an 8-0 lead.

Salida coach Donnie Kaess called a timeout to get things turned around and it proved effective. The Spartans started their ascent back on top from that point and once they gained the lead the Demons could not find a way to flip it.

Salida had a 23-12 lead at half, and even though the Demons scored 19 in the third quarter they could not get the Spartans stopped when they scored 17.

Buena Vista made an early fourth quarter run to get it down to 7, but could not close the gap closer than that.

In the Saturday rematch, Buena Vista struggled to come up with points. They went down ten in the first quarter and could not match the Spartan output the remainder of the game.

“Seniors AJ Smethers and Kik Molitor were a pleasure to coach and we wish them the best,” said Demons coach Scott Crites. “We have a lot of returning players for next season, and will need to put in some work to improve during the offseason.”

Buena Vista finished the tough season 6-13, 3-9.

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