A 20-point deficit is tough to overcome no matter the opponent, and while the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team tried to come back, Basalt was too much, defeating Steamboat 47-36 on Friday night.
The Sailors (2-2) pulled to within 11 in the final two minutes of the game, but they couldn't get any closer, as the Longhorns knocked down their free throws to seal the win on the second day of the Steamboat Shootout.
Basalt is one of the best teams in Class 3A this season, and Steamboat found out why, as the Longhorns came out quickly in the first quarter behind senior Lauren Redfern's game-opening bucket.
Basalt passed the basketball well and took advantage of its open looks at the hoop, drilling long and short-range jumpers, as well as easy shots around the basket. The Longhorns extended a nine-point first quarter lead to a 29-9 advantage by halftime.
"We didn't come out with any energy in the first half," senior Melissa White said.
Basalt also put good defensive pressure on Steamboat's guards, creating turnovers and subsequent easy baskets.
Senior Shelley Dunlop stole the ball twice near the end of the half for the Sailors, which culminated in two makes from Bailey Draper and Kayla Kostur, but Steamboat couldn't get any closer than 20 before the end of the half.
"We were a little timid," Sailors coach Steve Moos said. "And you can't be timid in the game of basketball."
Steamboat came out with increased intensity and energy in the second half, and behind Kostur, the Sailors cut into the Longhorns' lead. Steamboat closed to within 14 off Kostur's three-point play with 4:08 left in the third.
"Being more aggressive opens up more shots," Moos said.
Kostur had 10 points in the third quarter alone.
Steamboat kept up its defensive pressure in the fourth, but Basalt never allowed the Sailors to gain all the momentum, and the 20-point hold Steamboat found itself in after the game's first 16 minutes was too much to overcome.
Steamboat outscored Basalt 27-18 in the second half and played much better overall offensively and defensively than in the first, but the Longhorns put together a more complete 32 minutes of basketball to walk off the court victorious.
Redfern led Basalt with 16 points. Kostur had 19 for the Sailors, including 15 in the second half.
Steamboat returns to the court at 5:10 p.m. today against Conifer.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208
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