Scrappy boys still unbeaten

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The Sailors boys basketball team comes off a 86-30 thrashing of Rangely High School as it enters the 2000 Steamboat Shoot-Out Thursday through Saturday.

The Sailors, who hold a perfect 4-0 record in non-conference play so far this season, will take on the Platte Canyon Huskies at 8:15 p.m. Thursday. League play for Steamboat begins Jan. 5 against Palisade at home.

The Sailors will play on each of the three days during the tournament, regardless of whether they win or lose Thursday. The championship game will be played at 6:15 p.m. Saturday.

Platte Canyon, which competes in the 3A Metro League, is 2-0 on the season.

The Huskies defeated the Conifer Lobos 68-59 and the Jefferson Saints 70-56. They played Buena Vista Tuesday night.

Steamboat won the Roaring Fork Tourney earlier this season where it recorded wins over West Grand and Glenwood Springs.

The Sailors also defeated the Grand Junction Central Warriors and the Rangely Panthers this year.

The Roaring Fork Tourney championship was Steamboat's seventh pre-conference tournament championship in the past five years. This weekend, the Sailors hope to continue their championship success by taking the Shoot-Out title.

Teams competing in the Shoot-Out include Hotchkiss, Kent Denver, Platte Canyon, Uintah 2, Aspen, Conifer, Roaring Fork and Steamboat.

Platte Canyon trailed Conifer at the end of the third quarter before outscoring the Lobos 25-13 in the fourth quarter for the win.

Seniors Adam Fearn and Tim Babbert, who both are listed at 6-foot-5, are the Huskies' post men. Fearn leads the team in scoring.

Mike Hurley and Adam Dokter, who also are seniors, are the guards.

The Huskies won only three games last season, but with two wins already in 2000, the team is a contender in the Metro League.

Dean Carlstrom, who coaches the Huskies, said his players were motivated about their first-round pairing against Steamboat. Since the Huskies were matched against the host Sailors, the indication is that Platte Canyon is considered as one of the weaker teams in the tournament, Carlstrom said.

"I hope to prove them wrong," said the first-year coach. "I know they've got a good ball club and you always have to be concerned with that. But if we take care on the defensive side, we'll do well on the other end. I expect us to be very competitive."

Steamboat has played well in each of its past two outings and figures to be one of the favorites at the tournament.

Jeff Aragon, who plays the point, injured his shooting thumb against Central and is listed as probable for the game. Aragon, who had eight points against Central, may have suffered ligament damage.

Alex Mackey has been the surprise so far this year for the Sailors, averaging 11.5 points per game.

Kelly Meek, who coaches the Sailors, said the Shoot-Out enabled his team to pick up three more home games than they normally would have during the course of a season.

Meek was encouraged by the level of intensity his players displayed in their past two contests, he said.

The tight games that the Sailors were involved in against the Glenwood Springs Demons and the Central Warriors were great experience for his players, he said.

"They were two great growing situations for us because we were successful in how we executed down the late-game stretch," Meek said. "We're showing some real positives right now."

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