Steamboat Springs Sailors coach Bruce Alston sat in his office wearing a pair of white high heels during the first half of the girls junior varsity game Friday night.
A man who stands by or in his words, Alston had promised his team to wear the pumps if it defeated Glenwood Springs, a team that had beaten the Sailors twice this season.
Steamboat beat Glenwood last Saturday, 70-40.
But the silliness ended after the half of the JV game and the pumps came off before Alston gave his pregame pep talk. Alston wanted his players to take him seriously, as seriously as he wants the rest of the league to take his team.
And, after a shaky first half, the Sailors showed just how serious they can be, handing Delta a 63-32 loss.
Friday's win was crucial to a team that is looking to win its last three league games and enter the district tournament in middle ground.
"Absolutely nobody plays with more heart and hustle in the next three games than we do," Alston told his team before going against the Panthers Friday.
While it might have taken the first half before the Sailors showed that heart, a scoring spree at the start of the third period proved that the Sailors meant business.
Leading by just seven points at the half, the Sailors quickly stepped up the tempo as Jennifer Weber put in a basket down low and Tracy Lucas followed it up with a three-point play to give the Sailors a 31-22 lead, which they expanded on for the rest of the game.
In the fourth period, 3-pointers from Weber and Jessica Flores gave the Sailors an even bigger boost to put them at 59-31 coming into the home stretch.
But, for Alston, the Sailors' second-half-scoring barrage did not balance out the sluggish first half.
"I thought at best, we played one half of basketball," Sailors coach Bruce Alston said.
Weber, Bayli Stillwell and Emily Hines combined for all 26 of the Sailors points in the first half.
"(Those three) are our leading scorers. They always have more points. But, we want to get production from everybody. We missed a lot of easy shots. We are not looking for the inside baskets that we need to score," Alston said.
After leading 13-10 coming out of the first period, the Sailors held the Panthers to three points, while scoring nine for the first few minutes of the second period.
Stillwell started the scoring with a basket from down low. For the Sailors' next basket, point guard Anya Allen threw the ball downcourt to Hines, who caught the ball and took it in for the layup.
After the Panthers tacked on a point from the foul line, Stillwell made another basket from underneath and Hines went on to score four more points to give the Sailors 26 points heading into the half.
The Sailors' next challenge will come from the Palisade Bulldogs when they face off at 4:30 p.m. today in Steamboat.