Wednesday, December 4, 2002
Steamboat Springs Both Steamboat Springs basketball teams will begin the 2002-03 season at the two-day Roaring Fork Tournament in Carbondale this weekend.
And both coaches, Kelly Meek and Steve Moos, are pleased with where their teams are at this point in the year.
The Sailors girls team takes the court Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Roaring Fork High School, and the boys will follow at 5 p.m. Each squad opens against Green River, Wyo., and Meek and Moos are expecting a stiff challenge in their first game of the season.
"We tried to build our schedule strong this year," Meek said. "This is the strongest opening game we've had in a long time. It is traditionally a good basketball program."
Meek said his scouting report on Green River reads good shooters, very athletic, good, physical team.
Moos, on the other hand, said he doesn't know much about Green River. As a first-year coach in the Sailors program, he continues to concentrate more on his team.
"I'm sure they are pretty good," Moos said. "Wyoming girls basketball is usually pretty good. We are ready to start. I guess if we play well we can play anybody."
Steamboat's girls spent last Saturday in Fruita scrimmaging Grand Junction-area schools and faring well.
"We just need to play games," Moos said. "Games are when we start progressing. I was happy with how we wrapped up play (in Fruita). We played really well against Junction Central. Everyone was tired, but we played through it."
Moos said he has a solid group of nine ready to go, but he figures he will tinker with combinations throughout the beginning portion of the year as he continues to get a better feel for his team and the best way to use each player.
Right now, five seniors and four juniors make up the core group of girls Moos plans to use.
"You want to have nine in case of injuries or foul trouble, but you hate to sub too much and not get a player into a rhythm," Moos said. "It's a non-league tournament, and we always want to win, but we need to see some players in the heat of competition."
Meek, likewise, has nine kids he's ready to use this winter.
His projected starting lineup includes four seniors and a sophomore, with four juniors ready to fill in when needed.
"I feel good about where we're at right now," Meek said. "I think we've made some real progress, especially this week."
The Sailors are seeking their fifth straight Roaring Fork championship, and Meek said he has stressed the importance of the season-opening games because a team's overall record is important come postseason seeding time.
"There's no doubt we want to start strong," Meek said. "Our kids know that. Our main goal is to be the best team we can be by the time the tournament comes around, but we don't want to wait until then."
If trends are any indication, the boys often don't wait. Steamboat has won 12 out of the past 14 early season tournaments it has been in, including its own, which runs Dec. 12-14. The girls will also host their tournament on the same days.
The other teams in the Roaring Fork Tournament are Glenwood Springs and host Roaring Fork. They will meet in the opening round with the winner facing the winner between Steamboat and Grand River on both the boys and girls sides.
The girls' consolation game is at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The championship game is at 5:30 p.m. The boys' consolation game is at 4 p.m. Saturday, while the championship game is at 7 p.m.