Steamboat Springs With the postseason set to begin in a week, Steve Moos wants the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team to focus on constant improvement this weekend.
Games against Glenwood Springs and Rifle present the Sailors with the perfect opportunity to work on aspects of their game that need to be operating smoothly by tournament time.
Rebounding and overall performance are two areas where Moos said Steamboat can improve this weekend.
"We just want to polish everything," he said. "At Glenwood last game, they killed us on the glass, so that's definitely one thing we're working on. They were real aggressive. For Rifle, it's kind of putting everything together. The game is down at their place so it'll be tough."
The pair of tough contests should help tune the Sailors going into the district tournament, Moos said.
The Sailors (15-2 overall, 8-2 in league play) defeated both teams already this season, handing the Demons a 57-46 loss on Jan. 31 and the Bears a 44-33 loss on Feb. 1.
Friday's 6 p.m. contest against Glenwood is the final home game for Steamboat, and for seniors Anya Allen, Jannike Combs, Tracy Lucas, Bayli Stillwell and Jen Weber.
There was some uncertainty as to how this season would shape up under Moos, a new coach, but the Sailors, led by a dedicated group of seniors, have enjoyed a successful year to this point.
Steamboat closes at Rifle on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Should Steamboat and Moffat County both win this weekend, the Sailors will enter the district tournament with a No. 3 seed. The Bulldogs will take the top seed.
The No. 2 seed for the district tournament will be awarded to Montrose, the top 4A finisher in the 5A Southwestern league.
The Sailors remained tied with Rifle for second in the Western Slope after defeating Delta and Palisade on Feb. 14 and Feb. 15, respectively.
Steamboat handed Delta a 63-22 loss in Delta before traveling to Palisade and winning 48-45.
As expected, the Sailors' contest with Delta was not close. Last time the teams met, Steamboat won 60-11, so Moos was pleased with how his team played all things considered.
"They did a good job of not letting down after that long drive down," Moos said.
Steamboat built a 23-9 lead after one quarter and stretched it to 42-17 at the half. Weber and Lucas led the Sailors in scoring with 14 points each, but Moos was able to get many players into the Feb. 14 game.
The Palisade game, on the other hand, was much closer.
The Sailors won by 20 points when the two teams squared off on Jan. 18 in Steamboat, but the Bulldogs proved to be a better opponent on their home court.
"Palisade was a tough place to play," Moos said. "We knew it was going to be a tough game. We played pretty well. We kept grinding it out until things started to go our way."
Palisade led 10-7 at the end of the first, but Steamboat took a 20-19 lead into the half. The Sailors extended their lead to six points after three quarters, before winning by three.
However, the Bulldogs did not get any closer than five until they hit a shot in the closing seconds of the game.
"They were up early and we were having some trouble on offense," Moos said. "Erin Christensen came in and hit two three-pointers. As the game went on, we started pulling away. We kept our composure and pretty soon things went our way."
Weber led the team with 12 points. Stillwell had 10 for Steamboat.