Steamboat Springs Kelly Meek holds his thumb and index finger millimeters apart to provide a sense of just how close he believes the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team is to its desired playing level.
"We're right there," Meek said. "We are real close."
Heading into their closing weekend of the regular season, the Sailors find themselves 11-6 overall and 5-5 in the league, but showing signs of life.
The results -- or at least overall execution -- in Friday's upcoming game against Glenwood Springs and Saturday's finale at Rifle have the potential to determine just how much life; both teams have fared better that the Sailors so far this season.
Friday's game against the Demons is at 7:30 p.m. In addition to being Parent's Night, it is also the final home game for seniors John Daschle, Cory Moore, Kyle Nelson, Cody Sherrill and Preston Stanfill.
The Demons got the better of the Sailors in Glenwood, 50-45, on Jan. 31. Glenwood is a solid team inside and out, with post players capable of draining long-range shots, Meek said.
"Glenwood has won five of its last six games in the league," he said. "They are on a roll. We've got some guys we need to shut down."
Playing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Rifle, Steamboat will try to spoil Rifle's bid for an undefeated league season, should Moffat County come up short against Rifle on Friday.
"They've been real consistent with their inside game," Meek said of Rifle. "They are a tough defensive squad. They are probably the most physical team in the league."
Steamboat hopes some spark and physicality return to its team this weekend, as several boys continue to recover from illnesses that have hampered them for most of the league season and prevented them from practicing.
The Sailors split their most recent games, defeating Delta on Feb. 14, but falling to Palisade on Feb. 15. Both games were on the road, where the Sailors are 2-3 in league play this season.
Steamboat's 74-46 win over Delta was impressive, considering the Sailors beat the Panthers by just two in Steamboat on Jan. 17.
"We played excellent," Meek said. "We dominated in the second quarter and came on with a really strong third period. We were real balanced all night. We got a really good lift off the bench from Ryan Lobato. He gave us a good spark on the perimeter."
Daschle led Steamboat with 18 points. Sophomore Cameron Burney had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Sherrill had 12 points, and sophomore Nick Monterotti had 10 points.
The next night against Palisade, however, a different Sailors team showed up, losing to the Bulldogs, 55-52.
"We broke down defensively," Meek said. "They hit seven of their first eight three-point attempts in the first half. We were in a deep hole, down 15 at the half."
The 15-point deficit was the largest for Steamboat this season.
The Sailors, behind Moore, came back to within one but could not take the lead.
"I thought we were going to win," Meek said.
Down 48-47, a Palisade player missed the front end of his one-and-one, but Steamboat did not get the rebound and had to foul again.
"That play killed us," Meek said. "We had roared back. Cory Moore had 18 points and 11 in the fourth quarter. He had a heck of a game."
Burney had 14 points. Sherrill led the team in rebounding with 12, while Nelson had seven assists.
"Kyle had a really good weekend passing," Meek said. "We made big strides last weekend. Had we brought the same focus to the Palisade game that we brought to Moffat County (game on Feb. 11) and Delta, we wouldn't have lost that game."