The Steamboat Springs boys basketball team doesn't have a go-to guy. It has a go-to group of guys, which ended up working out fine in a 44-40 overtime victory against Conifer on Friday night.
In a span of 4 minutes, 7.5 seconds, which included the final ticks of the fourth quarter and all of overtime, all five Sailors on the court made baskets and/or defensive plays to move Steamboat to 2-2 this season and a perfect 2-0 in the Steamboat Shootout tournament.
"We tell them to be the one that wants to take that tough shot," Sailors coach Kelly Meek said. "I don't want them to have a fear of failure."
Despite trailing by two with just 7.5 seconds left in the fourth, Steamboat showed no fear. Junior Dustin Moran turned down an open three, passed it off to junior Patrick Ayres who, instead of forcing a shot, dished it off to an open Scott Peterson.
The sophomore faked his defender and dribbled in for a short jumper that caught nothing but net to tie the score at 37-37.
Jed Walker inbounded the ball for Conifer, but his pass caught the feet of Matt Weist and shot out of bounds with 2.4 seconds left.
Ayres got a good look for the Sailors, but the shot came up just short at the end of regulation.
Both teams traded overtime possessions before Weist made the back end of his two free throws to give his team a 38-37 lead with 1:58 left in OT.
But senior Nick Monterotti pushed the Sailors back in the lead for good on a nice turn-around shot from inside the paint with just more than a minute left. Weist picked up his fourth foul on the play, but Monterotti missed the free throw.
The Sailors got a stop on defense, and senior Devin Borvansky took the ball to the hoop, giving Steamboat a 41-38 lead. Ayres tacked on a free throw with 28 seconds left, and Moran added two more free throws with 2.5 remaining.
While Moran only had five points on the night, his play at point was important down the stretch. Senior starter Kyle Re fouled out on the first possession of the fourth quarter, forcing Moran to direct the team.
Conifer's top scorers, Weist and Justin Kaye, combined to score 32 points, but Meek wasn't disappointed in Steamboat's defensive effort.
"Even though they got their scores, they had to work hard for them," he said.
The Sailors were led by Borvansky with 10 points, while Monterotti had nine points and nine rebounds. Peterson chipped in with six points, and Ayres had three points and three assists.
"We play really tough defense -- that's what our program is built around," Moran said. "This win gives us lots of confidence going into (today's game)."
The Sailors wrap up the Steamboat Shootout today against Johnson County (Tenn.) at 6:50 p.m. in the high school's new gym.