Steamboat Springs By the start of the third quarter, it was apparent the Sailors' defensive press had started to take a toll on the Summit Tigers.
"We forced 14 turnovers in the first half alone," coach Steve Moos said. "I really think that's what was going on in the third quarter ? I think our press just finally wore them down."
But it wasn't until Steamboat's Jen Weber buried a 3-point shot from the left side of the court that the Steamboat Springs High School girls team really took control of the game.
The shot sparked a 23-4 run, helping the Sailors cruise to a 64-28 win ? their sixth straight of the season.
Weber scored 10 points in the quarter and 12 for the game. Tracy Lucas chipped in 10 more and Shelly Dunlap, who helped keep Steamboat in the game in a sluggish first half, finished with eight.
Bayli Stillwell also had seven points on the night.
Moos said the Sailors have averaged 61 points a game this season, but the real key to winning Tuesday's contest against Summit was Steamboat's defensive pressure.
"We were playing really great defense but our shots just were not falling," Dunlap said. "We just wanted our shots to fall, and we wanted to finish ? that was our word for the day."
In the opening minutes, Summit took advantage of Steamboat's slow offensive start to build a small lead, but by the end of the quarter Steamboat had clawed to an 11-10 advantage.
Steamboat's offense continued to struggle in the second quarter, but the home team headed into halftime clinging to a 25-18 lead.
"We just kept focusing on getting the rebounds," Lucas said. "We were just having a hard time just getting the ball and we knew that our shots would eventually fall."
Weber sunk a 3-pointer to open the second half and the Sailors were able to capitalize on several turnovers for quick scores en route to building a 48-22 lead.
Moos called off the full-court press in the fourth quarter and took many of his starters out of the game as the Sailors cruised to the win.
"I was pretty happy with our game tonight," Moos said. "Our goal is to improve with every game : we played well tonight, but I'm not sure that we improved."
Moos credited his players' aggressive style and the fact that they held Summit's 5-foot-6 senior Dolly Fiedelman to just 10 points.
Summit's Shannon Buhler scored six points and Cecilla Daniels and Sara Olbright both finished with four points each.
Moos was also happy with the number of times his team turned the ball over and the limited number of fouls.
"We only had 10 fouls in this game and only nine against Conifer in our last game," Moos said. "That's a huge advantage."
The coach is hoping the team can keep winning when Steamboat takes on Rangely in the final game before the holiday break Thursday night.
The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in the high school gym.
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