Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Sailors boys basketball team looks to continue its winning streak when it takes the court for its home opener Saturday night.
But when the Sailors do meet the Rangely Panthers, they might be minus one of their leading scorers.
Ryan Scheer, a 6-foot-3 post, is questionable for Saturday's game because of knee problems that have nagged him throughout the week, Sailors coach Kelly Meek said. The senior forward could not practice on Wednesday because of a flare up of tendonitis in the knee, a problem that has plagued him since the spring.
In the Sailors' debut weekend, Scheer was the second-leading scorer with 13 points at the Roaring Fork Tournament's championship game against Glenwood Springs. As last year's sixth man, Scheer averaged 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
If Scheer is unable to play Saturday, Meek said he would make one of two possible shifts in the lineup. He may leave 6-foot-5 Alex Mackey as the lone post player and move 5-foot-9 John Daschle in as another guard. Or, Meek said, 6-foot-3 freshman Cameron Burney may fill in at post.
"We do need people to step up (to Scheer's) level of intensity, especially communication-wise," Meek said.
With a new coach and only one returning starter for Rangely, the Sailors will be up against a much different team than the one they defeated 86-30 last year.
Mark Skelton, Rangely head coach, said he has tried to instill discipline into his players in executing offensively. Skelton is going back to teaching the fundamentals, he said, which is something he said is hard to do with the upperclassmen.
"The younger kids are catching on quick, but it's hard to teach old dogs new tricks," Skelton said. "It's a slow process."
Offensively, Skelton said his team has worked hard on shot selection. The main concern right now, though, is fixing the team's inability to keep its covers on defense, he said.
Although the Panthers have seven seniors on the team, Skelton said the team was young considering his only returning varsity experience comes from point guard Kevin Hegl and guard Taylor Dahl.
Meek said Hegl and his brother Eric were strong 3-point shooters. The Sailors coach also expects a strong threat from Jack Allred, a solid player, he said, with a strong game both inside and outside.
Right now, Rangely stands at 1-2 with one of those losses coming against Rifle. Skelton said his team stayed with the Bears until the fourth quarter, until the Bears eventually wore them down and cruised to a 15-point win.
Skelton is expecting even stronger competition from Steamboat.
"They're going to be the toughest team we're going to see before Christmas," Skelton said. "When you're not coaching against them, they're a good team to watch."