Thursday, January 3, 2002
Steamboat Springs When the members of the Steamboat Springs Sailors boys basketball team return to the hardwood floors of Central's gym in Grand Junction this Saturday, a few key names will be missing.
"We are going to be a much smaller team than we were before the break," Sailors coach Kelly Meek said. "Our tallest player is going to be 6-foot-3 Ryan Scheer."
Meek said he would be without Ray Banning who is out indefinitely after having suffered complications from surgery to remove a bone tumor from his calf. The Sailors will also be without the services of 6-foot-5 post-player Alex Mackey who Meek said will be unavailable for the game.
Rod Beall, who has missed most of the season so far with a knee injury suffered during the soccer season, will also be questionable for Saturday night's game against the Warriors. That contest is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at Central High School. The junior varsity teams will take the court at 4:30 p.m.
"We will be down from 10 players at the start of the season to just six," Meek said.
The Sailors' head coach is expecting a fired up Grand Junction Central team for the game. Last year, the Sailors upset the Warriors by three points in a 68-65 contest.
"I know they will be ready for us," Meek said. "Last year's game was an upset and Central isn't going to let that happen again."
Central has struggled against some top competition in games this year. Meek, however, isn't letting the team's 0-7 record mislead him.
"They've played really tough 5A teams and the top 4A team in the state," Meek said. 'This is a very talented basketball team and I'm sure they will be ready for us."
The Warriors' losses have come to squads from Grandview, Highland, Overland and Bear Creek. The Central team lost a heartbreaking 62-58 game with the state's top-ranked 4A team Adams City. Meek said Adams City is loaded with talented athletes.
"We are very young this year, but I think things are starting to come together," Central coach John Sidanycz said.
While the Sailors will rely on six players, including Jeff Aragon, Cody Sherrill, John Daschle, Kyle Nelson, Scheer and Cory Moore to carry the weight, the Warriors will have a very balanced and deep attack.
"Steamboat is always a great game," Sidanycz said. "That's why this game is on the schedule. We lost by three points last year and that has really stuck with us."
The coach is hoping his players will remember the upset and use it to fuel their game this Saturday.
The Sailors challenge will come as they try to contain the team's leading scorers Chris Johnson (10 points a game), Brad Gonyeau and Govey Aker.
Behind those work horses the Warriors have seven guys who can all score in bunches.
"They like the three-point shot, but can score from just about anywhere," Meek said. "This will be a good test for our team and we will be ready for it."
The Sailors will be looking to remain hot after opening the season with a 5-1 record. Meek didn't have any contact with his players over the holiday break, but said the team did take part in some open gyms through Parks and Recreation. The game against Grand Junction Central will be a non-league game. The Sailors will play their first home game on Jan. 11 against Moffat County in Steamboat Springs. That game will start at 7:30 p.m.