Steamboat girls hoops team looks to build on playoff run | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat girls hoops team looks to build on playoff run

Luke Graham

Steamboat’s Megan Stabile takes aim for a shot Tuesday as the Sailors girls basketball team prepared for the upcoming start to the regular season. The team will try to build on last year’s campaign, which saw the squad qualify for the playoffs.





Steamboat's Megan Stabile takes aim for a shot Tuesday as the Sailors girls basketball team prepared for the upcoming start to the regular season. The team will try to build on last year's campaign, which saw the squad qualify for the playoffs.
Joel Reichenberger

— The Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team is out to prove last year wasn't an aberration.

After several years as the doormat of the Western Slope League, Steamboat burst out last year, finishing second in the league, earning a first-round bye in the Class 4A playoffs and advancing to the round of 32.

But with the loss of star forward Colleen King and the transfer of point guard Megan Rae, is it realistic to think the Sailors can duplicate last season?

"Our aspirations are no lower than last year competing for a league title," Steamboat coach John Ameen said. "We have five good basketball players. Then we're going to need some younger people to step up, which is already starting to happen."

The cupboard certainly isn't bare.

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Steamboat returns four players that saw significant playing time last year. Spot starters and seniors Katie Lettunich and Tara Spitellie return to help senior returning starter Hannah Moore.

Junior Sydney Bauknecht, who backed up Rae, is expected to take over the point guard duties and fellow junior Eryn Rinck is expected to provide more depth.

With Spitellie and Moore — two of the better shooters in the league — on the perimeter, there is reason to think that this Steamboat team has staying power.

"There is a lot more doubt in other people outside our team," Lettunich said. "Last year, we had more experienced players, numbers and seniors. This year, we have our strengths. We have such a good bond. I think that's really our strength this year."

Lettunich, Moore and Spitellie are expected to lead a Steamboat team that should battle Moffat County and Glenwood Springs for the top spot in the league.

The three seniors have played basketball together for years and said that bond leads them to expectations that shouldn't be tempered.

"Together, we're just a really strong core group," Spitellie said. "Last year was a great learning experience for all of us. We've pushed ourselves through the offseason so we can keep up and play at that level."

The key, however, might be how Ameen is able to develop depth behind his starting five. Also, it will be paramount to see whether a Steamboat team that was able to pound people inside last season is able to smoothly adjust to a more guard oriented offense and defense this season.

Regardless, Ameen said last year's performance should be the bar here on out.

"We're a real program. We're a real team, and we're here to stay," he said. "It's not a one-and-done thing or just a one-year thing. I don't know what other people are saying; I just know what we're capable of doing. We have to prove it to ourselves first, then when we get in league, really hit them hard."

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com 

2010-11 Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball schedule

Dec. 3 and 4: TBA at the Brenda Patch Tournament

Dec. 9 and 11: TBA host the Steamboat Shootout

Dec. 13: 5 p.m. vs. Aspen

Dec. 16 to 18: TBA at Green River, Wyo., tournament

Jan. 7: 6 p.m. at Glenwood Springs

Jan. 8: 5:30 p.m. vs. Mead

Jan. 14: 6 p.m. at Battle Mountain

Jan. 15: 2 p.m. vs. Eagle Valley

Jan. 21: 6 p.m. at Palisade

Jan. 22: 2 p.m. at Delta

Jan. 28: 6 p.m. vs. Moffat County

Jan. 29: 4 p.m. vs. Glenwood Springs

Feb. 4: 6 p.m. vs. Battle Mountain

Feb. 5: 2 p.m. at Eagle Valley

Feb. 11: 6 p.m. vs. Palisade

Feb. 12: 2 p.m. vs. Delta

Feb. 18: 6 p.m. at Moffat County

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