Sailors have tough task in playoffs

Steamboat faces No. 4 Broomfield tonight


— Right after romping Moffat County to earn a regional playoff spot Saturday, Steamboat coach Kelly Meek said it was time for his team to be giant killers.
And, David will take on Goliath today in the first round of the regional playoffs when Steamboat travels to play the No. 4 seeded school in the state. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.
At 20-2, and picked as a preseason favorite for the state championship, Broomfield is one of the bigger 4A giants in Colorado.
Not only will Steamboat be facing a school more than twice its size, it will also be up against a team that has three of its top players transferred from nearby Skyview High School, including the Eagles' top scorer Chase McBride.
"Basically, we're playing the best players of two schools. It combines the best players of Broomfield and Skyview. At the start of the season this was the pick of most coaches to win the state title. We are playing a really high level group. We're real excited," Meek said.
At 16 points per game, McBride leads the Eagles in scoring. The 5-foot-9 junior who transferred from Skyview this year is a fast guard who can be dangerous from 3-point land, Meek said.
As a running back for Broomfield, McBride helped the Eagles finish second in the state for 4A football this fall.
The 6-foot-5 Michael Bahl has also done well for Broomfield, averaging 13 points a game as a wing with a strong 3-point shot. Although Matt Halliday does not have the scoring power of Bahl, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound player does contribute off the boards as one of the Eagles' top rebounders.
Meek called 6-foot-5, 225-pound Geoff Sewell the most athletic and powerful player for Broomfield. But the quickest player is Eric Wuthrich, a 5-foot-11 guard who scores 11.9 points per game.
Joe Kozlowski, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound center, and Josh Stowe, round out the seven-deep team.
"They are much more athletic than we are. Speed-wise and size- wise we are looking at guys 220 to 230 (pounds), up toward 6-foot-5 and they can move. And they have very explosive guards that can shoot deep. We've got our work cut out for us defensively," Meek said.
With that powerhouse lineup, the Eagles have lost just two games this season, one to Adams City and the other to Monarch, a 5A school ranked in the state's top 10. Early in the season, Adams City beat Broomfield in league play, but the Eagles came back in February to hand them a 77-60 loss and won again at the district tournament, 58-46.
But facing top teams in the state tournament is something the Sailors are good at, Meek said, pointing to last year's 48-39 upset over No. 3-ranked Pueblo Central.
"A number of kids have been in this type of game. They are use to being in this situation. You can tell they are excited about it. They were more nervous (for the district tournament) than this game. They enjoy being giant killers," Meek said.
After crushing their past two opponents in the district tournament, the Sailors will be in an upswing coming into tonight's game. Steamboat was handed a disappointing loss from Montrose at the start of the district tournament, but came back strong beating Glenwood Springs, 64-52, and Moffat County, 54-37, to take fifth.
The Sailors will have point guard Jeff Aragon and post Ryan Scheer, who have struggled this season from ankle injuries, on the court tonight. But freshman Cameron Burney, who has been a strong sixth man, is not eligible for tonight's game.


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