The members of the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team discovered what it's like to be a marked team Friday night at home.
"We underestimated them a little," guard Kyle Re said of the Delta Panthers. "Everybody in the league is coming after us, and we didn't come to play today."
But thanks to Re's clutch free throws down the stretch, the Sailors managed to hold onto a 39-37 victory over Delta and remain undefeated in league play.
Steamboat has won its past 12 games improving to 12-2 overall and is 7-0 in league play. Delta is 8-6 overall and 3-4 in league play.
"I hope this game will motivate my players," coach Kelly Meek said after the game. "We are the team that everybody is aiming for now, so I know that every team is going to bring its best game -- our players have to expect it."
Delta's best game helped the Panthers jump out to a 10-9 lead in the first quarter before Steamboat's defense put on the brakes.
The Sailors limited the Panthers to three points in the second quarter and three in the third. The effort helped the home team build a 25-16 lead headed into the final quarter of play.
The Sailors held Delta's top scorer, Blake Carlquist to just two points through the first three quarters of play, but in the fourth, Carlquist led a Panther's rally that nearly ended the Sailor's winning streak.
Carlquist netted nine of his 11 points in the quarter as the Panthers roared back into the game with 21 fourth-quarter points.
Re, who finished the night with 10 points, hit two key free throws to put Steamboat up by five with less than 10 seconds remaining.
Carlquist came back with a 3-pointer, but time ran out on Delta's comeback bid.
"Kyle Re gave up a big lift late in the game," Meek said. "Luckily, our guys found a way to win this one."
Steamboat's Devin Borvansky also netted 10 points and seven rebounds in the game, and Nick Monterotti and Tanner Stillwell finished with eight points. Monterotti also had seven rebounds.
Steve Moralez led the Panthers with 14 points, and Andrew Lockwood finished with seven.
Steamboat will take the court against Palisade today at 6 p.m. The JV game will begin at 3 p.m.