Sailors honored for season performances

Four Steamboat girls earn all-conference recognition in basketball

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— After leading Steamboat to the regional playoffs for the first time in coach Bruce Alston's seven-year career, four Sailors were recently rewarded with all-conference honors.

Brienna Combs and Natalie Muth, who were the Sailors' high-scoring seniors, were named to the 4A Western Slope Conference first team.

Katie Carter and Jannike Combs the future of Steamboat basketball made second-team honors as sophomores.

"I think overall it was a pretty well-rounded season," said Muth, who was best known for her agility in the open court.

"I think we could have still went a little further but this is the first time we've been to regionals in seven years. I thought that was a pretty good feat."

Steamboat ended the season with a 13-10 record, including two victories in the district playoffs.

Brienna Combs lit up the scoreboard against Lewis-Palmer in the first round of regionals, though the Sailors fell to the Rangers, 57-40.

Combs scored 15 points in the regional game. Besides making the all-conference team, the senior post player received all-state honorable-mention recognition from the Rocky Mountain News.

Muth, who was the team's floor general, collected first-team academic all-state honors.

"I'm really proud of all four of them," Alston said. "They all improved immensely throughout the year."

Twice during the regular season the Sailors lost close games to the Rifle Bears.

They also lost to the Moffat County Bulldogs in a tight contest Feb. 1.

At districts, Steamboat defeated Delta and Palisade.

The Sailors were able to find success because of their depth, Alston said.

Jannike Combs and Ashley Rogers provided stability on the boards, and Carter was a scoring threat.

Emily Hines and Bayli Stillwell also spurred the offensive attack.

The Sailors may have come up short of winning the league title, but the players accomplished an important goal in making it to regionals, Alston said.

"We really wanted to take the league and we wanted to take districts," Alston said. "In that sense we didn't always meet our goals. Overall, though, it was an extremely positive year."

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