The Steamboat Springs boys basketball team is perfect through the first half of the Western Slope League season, going 6-0 and picking up four road wins in the process.
Steamboat defeated Battle Mountain, 60-40, on Saturday to conclude its first trip through the league schedule and built a two-game lead in the standings with the help of two Rifle losses over the weekend.
"We've had a lot of games that we have broken open or that have been close and we've won down the stretch," Sailors coach Kelly Meek said. "Halfway through, we are undefeated and in good position."
But Meek added that there is plenty of basketball left, including road trips to Craig and two of the more hostile gyms in the league.
In Saturday's win against Battle Mountain, Steamboat allowed the Huskies to jump out to a 5-2 lead, but that was it for the host school. The Sailors took control and established a double-digit cushion by the second quarter.
"They work so hard defensively together and, therefore, are very unselfish on the other end of the floor," Meek said of the Sailors. "You just never know where it's going to come from offensively."
Against Battle Mountain, the main offensive source was junior Patrick Ayres, who poured in 26 points, including 18 from behind the arc. He was the only player in double digits for Steamboat. Meanwhile, senior Kyle Re, junior Dustin Moran and sophomore Scott Peterson had a combined 13 assists.
Ayres, Moran and junior Henry Howard had a combined nine steals.
Meek said the team has "really come along" since starting the season 0-2.
"We have five guys that work hard every possession and that's been our biggest thing," he said. "They are trying to be technical about their fundamentals."
Steamboat looks to remain undefeated in league play this weekend when it hosts Delta at 7:30 p.m. Friday and hosts Palisade at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Sailors defeated Delta, 54-35, on Jan. 9 and beat Palisade, 62-58, on Jan. 10.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org