Saturday, February 2, 2002
Steamboat Springs Up against the league favorites, minus three of its top six players and on a three-game losing skid, Steamboat's odds weren't good Saturday night vs. Battle Mountain.
But its heart was, as the team rallied from a five-point deficit in overtime to beat Battle Mountain, 50-49.
Leading the entire way, the Huskies were up 42-36 midway into the fourth, when Steamboat's Cory Moore got the pass at the top of the circle and shot a perfect trey to move the Sailors to within three. After the Huskies' Andy Linke missed a wide-open layup, Sailors point guard Kyle Nelson pulled down the rebound and dribbled the ball downcourt. A foul by point guard Isaac Martinez led to a Sailors' inbound play, where post Ryan Scheer caught the ball and dished it to John Daschle, who drained a 3-pointer to tie the game at 42.
With three minutes left in the game, the teams remained deadlocked until the final 10 seconds. Coming out of a timeout, Martinez stalled in Huskies' territory before finding a seam through the Sailors' defense, which resulted in two points that gave the Huskies the lead with seven seconds on the clock.
On the final possession in regulation, Scheer got the ball and dished to Moore, who was running downcourt. Moore took the pass in stride and sank a jump shot to tie the game at 44 and send the teams into overtime.
"I knew it was going in once I got my hands on it," said Moore, who had been Steamboat's seventh man until tonight.
Shortly after the opening tip in overtime, Battle Mountain found the lead again behind its all-conference post player Josh Henry, who capped off a three-point play at the free throw line after getting fouled going for a layup.
Linke followed Henry's basket with a bucket from down low to widen the margin to 49-44.
But the Sailors responded when Scheer got a pass inside and scored the team's first bucket in overtime. Scheer scored again when he caught another pass down low and fought his way past Henry to bring the Sailors within one point with less than a minute left.
On the Sailors' next possession, Scheer got the ball on the outside, dribbled into the paint, where a Huskies' defender got a hand on it, and took it up strong for a basket that gave the Sailors their first lead of the night at 50-49 with eight seconds left.
Scheer, who was fouled on the play, missed his free throw attempt as the Huskies grabbed the rebound and quickly found Austin Wignall downcourt. Wignall's last-second shot, a short jumper from inside the paint, dinged off the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
The Sailors ended up walking away with a 50-49 win, which moves them a notch higher in the league standings after falling three straight games.
"We knew we had to get back on top. And they're the team to beat," Scheer said of Battle Mountain, which was tied for first place in the league going into Saturday's game.
Playing without injured starting point guard Jeff Aragon, starting post Alex Mackey and sixth-man Cameron Burney, the tempo of Saturday's game started slow for the Sailors, who allowed the Huskies to rack up nine points before finding the net.
"I just told them to reach down deep and never give up, to play with heart," Sailors coach Kelly Meek said. "For the most part, they did that."
While Scheer dominated the game with 24 points, along with containing the Huskies' Henry, Meek also relied on his bench to replace three of his top six. Nelson, Moore, guard Rod Beall and post Devin Borvansky all stepped up Saturday, Meek said.
"We came in with nothing to lose; we left our hearts out there," Meek said.