Steamboat Springs It took 16 games, but the Steamboat Springs Sailors were finally beaten Friday night in Rifle.
The Bears and Sailors were tied at the end of regulation at 47 points apiece. In the overtime, however, Rifle outscored the Sailors 16-7, becoming the first team this season to hand the Sailors a loss, 63-54.
"I don't want to talk about the undefeated thing," Sailors coach Kelly Meek said after the game. "I think our players were thinking about that a little too much tonight."
Ironically, the Sailors last defeat came at the hands of the Rifle Bears, who upset the Sailors in the first game of the district playoffs 50-43. That game was played Feb. 25, 2000.
"We didn't rebound as well as we have been and we gave up some easy shots on the inside," Meek said.
Tommy George, who netted 23 points in the game, filled in for the missing Brain Beecraft, who is serving a suspension for violating team rules. The Bears' Andy Gardineer also picked his game up a notch by scoring 12 points in the Bears' effort.
Steamboat's Andrew Johnston kept the Sailors close by netting 20 points including six 3-pointers. Ryan Kiely contributed with nine points and Ryan Scheer scored eight. Rusty Eck and Jeff Aragon both has six points in the game.
The loss drops the Sailors to 9-1 in the league and 16-1 overall. Rifle is now 8-3 in league play and 15-3 overall.
The Sailors' start this season (16-0) matches Meek's previous best. But the team missed beating the record by a single game.
"I'm sure we will regain our focus now," Meek said. "We should learn from this and move on."
The Sailors will have the rest of the weekend off. The team will finish out the season next week in Glenwood Springs Friday night and back home against Delta on Saturday.
Rifle will play its final game of the regular season Feb. 17 against Palisade.