Sailors teams advance to finals of Shoot-Out

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— Andrew Johnston scored 13 points against the Conifer Lobos Saturday to lead his team to a 54-44 win and to the Steamboat Shoot-Out tournament championship.

Johnston, who was the most valuable player of the Shoot-Out, averaged 11.7 points during the series. He had 13 rebounds against Conifer, including 10 defensive boards.

"It feels good, but it was kind of a surprise," said Johnston, who managed to win the award despite having been hampered by a deep-thigh bruise throughout the Shoot-Out.

"I guess I didn't have the best tournament, but it feels good that other coaches can acknowledge me like that."

Ryan Scheer, who made the all-tournament team, also scored 13 points. Ryan Kiely had nine points and Jeff Aragon had five points and six assists.

"For the most part, we were patient on offense," Sailors coach Kelly Meek said. "Our kids did a really nice job of playing with the lead.

"Defensively, this effort was comparable to the one against Grand Junction Central."

Rusty Eck, who also made the all-tournament team, averaged 11.5 points through the first two games of the series.

Hunter Maddox, who finished the Conifer game with four points, five rebounds and two steals, played an important role off the bench, scoring all of his points near the end of the third quarter to give Steamboat a 40-34 lead.

The Sailors, who are 7-0, play the Palisade Bulldogs Jan. 5 at home.

Sailors Girls

Hannah Allbright scored 25 points against the Steamboat Sailors Saturday as the Conifer Lobos laid claim to the 2000 Steamboat Shoot-Out championship.

Allbright, who scored 11 points in the opening period, finished on 8-13 shooting to lead her team to a 52-32 victory.

Natalie Muth led the Sailors with 14 points, and Brienna Combs scored 12 points and had 11 rebounds. Bayli Stillwell had 10 rebounds off the bench.

Steamboat, which dropped to 4-2 on the season, was outscored 17-8 in the final period.

Combs and Muth, who led their team to a 2-1 record during the series, were named to the all-tournament team.

Combs averaged 16.3 points and 11 rebounds during the series and Muth averaged 12.6 points.

Allbright, who made seven of 10 free-throw attempts against Steamboat, said winning the championship was a major accomplishment.

"It was pretty important to us that we came into their gym and beat them," Allbright said.

The Lobos improved to 7-0 on the year.

Sailors coach Bruce Alston was encouraged a number of his younger players were able to gain experience throughout the tournament, he said.

"I'm real proud of the effort our girls put out," Alston said.

"We took the right shots, (but) they just didn't fall for us. This game is going to help us in the long run, playing against such a strong team."

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