Monday, February 26, 2001
Steamboat Springs The atmosphere at the Steamboat Springs boys basketball practice had a much more serious tone Monday afternoon.
"We have to see our season as a one-game tournament from here on out," Sailors head coach Kelly Meek said. "If you win now, you move on, but if you lose, then it's all over."
The Sailors will be hoping to move on when they face Ralston Valley Wednesday night at Steamboat Springs High School. The game will begin at 7 p.m.
"I hope we get a lot of people out from the community," Meek said. "It's been a couple of years since we've been at this level."
In fact, Steamboat hasn't played in a regional playoff game since 1998. This time around, Steamboat will need to pick up two wins to move on to the state tournament, which will begin March 8 in Denver.
To get there, Meek said his team will have to remain focused on the present. On Wednesday, that will mean finding a way to stop a tall Ralston Valley team.
The Mustangs are led by 6-foot-8 perimeter player Nick Fazekas, who averages 19.8 points per game. He also has hit 50 3-pointers in 99 attempts this season.
Inside, the Mustangs have two big scoring threats in Brian Murray and Derek Aber. The 6-foot-5 Murray averages 13 points per game. Aber, who also is in the 6-foot-5 neighborhood, averages 10 points per game.
Meek said the Sailors will most likely have to send a tall player such as Danny Weber out to shut down the threat from Fazekas. That will leave Andrew Johnston to defend the inside for the Sailors.
"It's going to be a challenge because this is such a well-balanced team," Meek said. "I think we will need to emphasize the things that we need to do well if we are going to be successful."
The Mustangs' other two starters are point guard Ryan DeCook and another perimeter player, Justin Roush.
Ralston Valley has a 14-8-0 record this season in the Jeffco League. The school was formed after splitting from Arvada West and has a student enrollment of between 1,000 and 1,500 students.