Wednesday, December 13, 2000
Steamboat Springs The Sailors boys basketball team opens up against the Platte Canyon Huskies at 8:15 p.m. today at the Steamboat Shoot-Out.
Steamboat, which is currently 4-0, plays today, Friday and Saturday during the Shoot-Out. If the Sailors go three for three, it would be their eighth pre-conference tournament championship in the past five years.
The Sailors begin their league schedule against the Palisade Bulldogs Jan. 5 at home.
If the Sailors were to lose on any of the three days, they would drop into the loser's bracket and give them an unwanted opportunity to view Saturday's championship from their own stands.
Uintah, which hails from Vernal, Utah, kicks off tournament play against Aspen at 3 p.m. Uintah recently was defeated 80-60 by Hayden.
Aspen, which is 2-1, has rebounded nicely since suffering an opening-season loss to Paonia.
"We got off to a horrible start to the year," Skiers coach Steve Ketchum said. "We played really lousy probably as bad as I've ever seen us play.
"We rebounded when we went down to the Centauri tournament. I felt like we played a heck of a lot better. Then, we just turned around and beat the crap out of Trinidad."
Aspen, which fell 47-45 to Paonia, defeated Centauri 60-54 before it upended Trinidad 75-50.
Jeff Brence is the Skiers' leading scorer and averages about 20 points per game. Blake Beyea, a 6-foot-9 senior, comes off a 10-point, 11-rebound performance against Trinidad.
The Sailors may meet the Skiers in a later round, but for now the team is ready to take on the Huskies, who scored a pair of recent victories over Conifer and Jefferson. On Tuesday, Platte Canyon was defeated by Buena Vista, 83-64.
Dean Carlstrom, who coaches the Huskies, said his players were psyched about participating in such a strong tournament.
Steamboat enters the Shoot-Out with a 4-0 record and Kent Denver is 2-1.
Conifer has the worst record at 0-4.
Conifer was defeated by Platte Canyon, Thomas Jefferson, Littleton and Denver South.
Kent Denver, which competes in the 3A Metro League, downed Alexander Dawson 77-27 in its season-opener.
The 4A Sailors figure to be the favorite in the tournament as they come off a recent victory over the 5A Grand Junction Central Warriors.
Senior Andrew Johnston leads Steamboat with an average of 16.5 points per game.
Carlstrom says his Huskies will not be intimidated by the Sailors.
"I know they've got a good ball club and you always have to be concerned with that," Carlstrom said. "But if we take care on the defensive side, we'll do well on the other end. I expect us to be very competitive."