Monday, February 26, 2001
Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs girls basketball team will be on the other side of the Continental Divide tonight for the first round of the state playoffs against Lewis-Palmer in Monument.
"This is going to be a good test," Sailors coach Bruce Alston said. "But this team (Lewis-Palmer) is not unbeatable. If our girls play like they did last Saturday, I like our chances of winning."
The Rangers enter the game with a 17-4 overall record and the No. 9 seed in 4A. The Sailors are 13-9 for the season and are the No. 24 seed after beating Palisade for the final regional playoff spot at the district tournament last Saturday, 55-35.
Steamboat lost in the first game of that tournament to Montezuma-Cortez but won the final two games to extend its season. In addition to Palisade, the Sailors knocked off Delta, 60-33.
If the Sailors want to continue along the postseason road this week, they will need to shut down Lewis-Palmer's big girls. Amy Bladow is averaging 13.3 points per game and six rebounds. Steamboat also will have to focus on Lindsey Laband, who nets nearly seven points per game and 3.4 rebounds. The Rangers also have a good point guard in Patty Wilson, according to Alston.
The Steamboat coach said his players are feeling pretty good after last weekend's district tournament and will enter tonight's game with high hopes.
The Sailors will come into the game in pretty good shape after getting Brienna Combs back from an injury that had kept her out for the past couple of weeks. She played last weekend and led the Sailors in rebounds with six. Alston said guard Natalie Muth also is in good physical shape headed into the game.
In order to win the game, Alston believes his players must take care of the ball. They also need to control the boards with solid rebounding.
Steamboat had a good showing from a number of players last weekend, including Katie Carter, who led the team in scoring with 12 points. Muth and Emily Hines both chipped in 10 points.
"It was the best team game we played all year," Alston said. "We didn't have any superstars but everybody that played played very well."
Alston will be looking for a little more of that type of teamwork from his players in tonight's game. A win tonight will mean the Sailors will advance to the second round of the regional playoffs against the winner of No. 8 Pueblo County (17-5) and No. 25 Elizabeth. If Elizabeth was able to upset the Pueblo team, Steamboat would host the next round on Friday.