Panthers top Sailors, 76-48

Boys' shooting drought hurts team

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— Defending 4A state champion Montezuma-Cortez proved it is going to be a tough team to dethrone at any tournament, defeating the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team 76-48 Saturday night in the district final at Mesa State.

The Sailors established a 13-6 lead over the Panthers in the opening quarter before they entered a shooting drought.

In the final 11 minutes of the first half -- the last three minutes of the first quarter and the entire second quarter -- the Steamboat players missed a combined 14 shots.

Three free throws represented all of the Sailors' offense in the final 11 minutes of the half as the Panthers went on a 25-3 run.

Steamboat (14-8 overall) simply didn't have an answer for Montezuma-Cortez's 6-foot-8 center Kirk Archibeque. The Panther senior was their mainstay down low, scoring a game-high 29 points.

Teammates Marcus Mortensen and Mike Ribas each added 14 points.

Twelve of Mortensen's 14 points came from behind the 3-point line.

"They have a lot of weapons," Steamboat coach Kelly Meek said. "You just can't be on defense that much against a team like that."

Sophomore Cameron Burney and senior Cody Sherrill each had eight points for the Sailors.

Senior John Daschle scored seven points, while senior Cory Moore and junior Nick Monterotti added six each.

The second-place finish at the district tournament gives the Sailors a shot at hosting a regional tournament game that will be played this week.

Opponents and sites for all regional games are yet to be determined, but both should be determined sometime today.

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