Saturday, December 14, 2002
Steamboat Springs Anya Allen isn't really surprised the Steamboat Springs basketball team is off to a 5-0 start this season. She just didn't know what to expect.
With a first-year coach implementing all new schemes and systems, it's hard for a team, particularly seniors, to catch on right away.
Coach Steve Moos said the Sailors still have a long way to go, but two tournament titles in as many chances is a pretty impressive start to the 2002-03 campaign.
Steamboat defeated Conifer 56-37 Saturday to finish the Steamboat Shoot-out with a 3-0 record. The Sailors shared the title with Roaring Fork, who also finished 3-0.
The two teams did not face in the modified round-robin tournament. Steamboat defeated Roaring Fork last weekend to win that tournament.
But it appeared as if Roaring Fork was going to win the outright title early Saturday, as Steamboat came out flat-footed and slow, allowing Conifer to establish an 11-5 first-quarter lead.
The Sailors slowly worked themselves back into the game, and Allen hit a 3 with less than a minute to go in the half to give her team its first lead of the game.
After the win, Moos said he couldn't believe his team was actually up heading into the locker room at halftime, considering it played its worst half of basketball all season in the first 16 minutes of Saturday's game.
"We were playing so lethargic," he said. "No one was moving."
Moos doesn't remember what he said at the half, but he wishes he would have recorded it because the Sailors came out a different team in the third, driving toward the hoop more and positioning themselves better for both offensive and defensive rebounds.
With 5:11 to go in the third, with the game tied at 25, the Sailors poured it on, scoring 10 unanswered points to give themselves a cushion to work with.
Moos felt it was no coincidence that the run corresponded with the insertion of junior reserve Melissa White.
White had just one bucket, but it wasn't her scoring that Moos wanted.
"We didn't have any energy," he said. "I went with a quick lineup with four guards. We started getting easy buckets off turnovers and then we started to run our half-court offense better. She gave us energy."
Steamboat outscored the Lobos 18-10 in the fourth for the final margin of victory.
For the third time in the tournament, the Sailors had a different leading scorer.
Senior Bayli Stillwell had 15 points and three rebounds, while teammate Jen Weber chipped in with 14 points and three assists. Eleven of Weber's points came in the second half.
Both Weber and Stillwell were named to the all-tournament team. Aspen's Lizzie Suitor took home MVP honors.
Allen had six assists, and junior Shelley Dunlop had five offensive rebounds, helping Steamboat build upon its lead Saturday.
"I definitely feel like our bench is so deep," Allen said. "It's like our five starters can be replaced with anyone. It seems like if someone is off, someone else can pick it up."