Rams keep Sailor boys on the run but fall 56-45

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— Less than two weeks ago, the Sailors left Roaring Fork with a championship tournament title and 15 points ahead of the Rams.

At the start of Thursday's game, it looked like the Sailors picked up where they left off as they jumped out to an early 12-0 lead. But a Rams rally in the fourth quarter made things a little uncomfortable for the Sailors as their lead dwindled to three points with five minutes left in the game.

It was forward Ryan Scheer who gave the Sailors some breathing room as he put in an extra four points and helped the Sailors to a 56-45 win in their first game of the Steamboat Shoot-Out

Coming into the fourth quarter, the Sailors were up 37-28. But the lead started slipping when Juan Quintero made a bucket, followed by Ty Burtard who added two points, then another bucket after the Rams stole the ball at half-court. That scoring spree closed the gap to

37-34.

"We were playing as if we were down by five (points) with no time left instead of being up by seven with two minutes left," forward Alex Mackey said.

Scheer put space between the teams when he was fouled and made both free throws. Another two points followed when he made a strong post-move past two defenders to score another field goal.

The Sailors expanded the lead as they nailed eight points on the line and walked away with the 56-45 win.

While the Sailors were able to gain two strong 12 point leads over the Rams throughout Thursday's game, Sailors coach Kelly Meek said a lack of communication contributed to letting the Rams within three in the fourth quarter.

Coming out of the half, the Sailors started off strong as point guard Jeff Aragon made two free throws and then scored from outside the circle to tally five consecutive points. Scheer followed up with two points of his own that put the Sailors ahead, 32-20.

Offensively, Scheer finished with 15 points, Mackey followed with 13 and Aragon tallied 10 for the night.

While tough defense by Aragon helped the Sailors keep the Rams' biggest scoring threat, Quintero, to just four points, the Rams saw big numbers from Kaid Harris who had 12 points and Levi Applegate with 10 points.

"Inside, the players were better (than the last game). I think they knew a lot about us," Mackey said. "They played the inside well and were a lot more physical than last time."

On defense, Mackey and Scheer both came down with eight rebounds. Aragon, who has the most steals among 4A players, added four more to his season total, while Scheer had three steals.

Steamboat's next round of tournament play is at 8:15 p.m. tonight when the team plays Conifer, which dropped a 75-44 game to Aspen Thursday.

To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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