Wednesday, December 13, 2000
Steamboat Springs Last Saturday, the Steamboat Sailors played lethargically against the Rangely Panthers during a 39-35 victory. Tonight, the Sailors want to erase any doubts about the talent that their ball club possesses when they take the court against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at 6:30 p.m. at the Steamboat Shoot-Out.
The Shoot-Out, which runs today through Saturday, includes Steamboat, Ralston Valley, Grand Junction, Hotchkiss, Aspen, Platte Canyon, Roaring Fork and Conifer.
Wendy Braye, who has no seniors on her Ralston Valley Mustangs team, says three freshmen and two juniors will start in tonight's game.
Rebekah Pike, who is a junior, is the Mustangs' tallest player at 6-foot-1. Erika Foss is another junior starter and will play either guard or forward.
Aspen Schmidt, who also plays guard or forward, will be joined in the lineup with two other freshman players, including guard Jamie Hynes and guard-forward Michelle Hockett.
Sailors coach Bruce Alston said his team would have to improve from its performance last week to have a chance at the tournament title this weekend. The championship game will be played at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Sailors trailed by eight as they entered the final period against the Panthers and committed 22 turnovers.
"We're going to have to play a whole lot better than last week," Alston said. "We're really going to have to reduce our turnovers and get into a better rhythm. We need to come out at the first tip and be ready to play."
Ralston Valley, which competes in the 4A Jefferson County League, defeated the Northridge Grizzlies 46-33 earlier this season. The team was defeated by Mountain View, Gateway and Aurora Central. Ralston Valley fell to Aurora Central 35-33.
The Sailors' lone loss came against the Glenwood Springs Demons, 49-48, in double overtime at the Roaring Fork Tourney.
Brienna Combs, who had 13 fourth-quarter points against Rangely, has an average of 14.3 points per game this season for the Sailors. Ashley Rogers averages 5.3 points and seven rebounds per game.
Aspen enters the Shoot-Out with a 2-1 record with wins over Paonia and Battle Mountain.
Conifer, which is in the 4A Jefferson County League, is 4-0. The Lobos recently defeated the Golden Demons 50-28. Against John F. Kennedy, Conifer prevailed 80-19.
The tournament figures to be a solid test for the Sailors, who open up league play against the Palisade Bulldogs Jan. 5 at home.
"We're looking forward to playing," Alston said. "It's our first home tournament and just playing host to it is going to be fun. We're just going to have to play a whole lot better than last week."