Sailors earn tough win

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— Make it 11-0 for the Sailors.

After trailing for much of the game, the Steamboat boys basketball team pulled out a thrilling, double-overtime win over Moffat County at home Tuesday night.

Danny Weber scored 14 points and Ryan Kiely and Rusty Eck each finished with 13 to give the Sailors a 57-52 victory. It was their 11th win of the season, and their fourth league victory of the year.

It wasn't easy, though.

Moffat County grabbed a 22-19 halftime lead and was up 33-31 at the end of the third quarter.

Behind an aggressive defense led by Jarrod Burns, the Bulldogs frustrated the Sailors throughout much of the contest.

They led at the end of each of the first three periods, but in the fourth, the Bulldogs were barraged by a Sailors rally.

Steamboat went on a 13-6 run behind Eck and Kiely, who combined for 10 points to give the Sailors a 44-39 lead.

Kiely then made a layup with nine seconds to go in regulation that appeared to have sealed the win as his team led 47-45. But Kyle Hazelwood knocked down a jumper inside the lane with two seconds left to tie the score 47-47.

Each team scored three points in the first overtime, though the Sailors had opportunities to close out the game.

They were ahead 50-47 with less than two minutes remaining, but Burns made two steals and handed out one assist to help the Bulldogs force a second overtime.

"That's what we pride ourselves in is our defense," said Burns after the game.

"We just couldn't get it done at the end."

Eck made two free throws in the second overtime that gave his team a three-point cushion at the 1:14-mark. With 4.6 seconds to go, Weber secured the win with a pair of free throws.

"Our play in the first half was really ugly," Weber said. "We didn't really come out with our usual defense until the fourth quarter. In the past, we haven't been very good in late-game situations, but now we're becoming more like clutch players."

Jeff Aragon finished with five points, five rebounds and four assists for the Sailors. Eck had 10 rebounds to go along with his 13 points.

Chris Bergmann, who plays for the Bulldogs, said his team faltered at the end after it outplayed the Sailors in the first three quarters.

"I think we were in control pretty much the whole game and I think fouls really hurt us in the end," Bergmann said. "We just couldn't quite pull it off."

Sailors coach Kelly Meek said he was proud of his players for pulling out the win, despite them playing sloppy at times late in the game.

"I didn't feel that sense of purpose coming out of their eyes," Meek said. "I got to give Craig a lot of credit because they came with the intensity.

"I'm proud of our kids, though, for weathering the storm and finding a way to win."

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