As expected, there were hoots and hollers eminating from the Steamboat Springs boys locker room Thursday night after the Sailors captured the league title with a convincing 72-27 win over Battle Mountain.
"Stay in the moment," Steamboat coach Kelly Meek told his players after the game. "We have reached our first goal, but tomorrow we will start working on a new one."
Steamboat (10-2) didn't trail in Thursday's regular-season finale. Guard Patrick Ayres hit a 3-pointer on the Sailors' first possession, igniting the crowd at the high school gym.
The shot helped Steamboat cruise to a 15-7 first-quarter lead, which grew to 32-9 by halftime.
The starting rotation extended the lead to 56-11 before Meek started pulling top players in the third quarter. Steamboat's nonstarters came off the bench to clean things up.
While the Sailors made things look easy in the contest, that's not what the they had expected.
'This was a huge win for us," senior Devin Borvansky said. "We wanted to get on top of them early and stay there. We knew that they would be pumped to play us -- beating Steamboat would have made their entire season."
Borvansky, who had three slam-dunks in the game, said he wanted to make sure the Sailors took care of business for the hometown crowd.
He left the game, along with most of the starters, in the third quarter after netting 11 points. Teal Taylor led the team with 14 points, and Nick Monterotti finished with 12.
"That's the way it's been all year," Borvansky said. "We have different guys leading us in scoring every game. It's great because the other teams can't focus on stopping just one player. It's always a team effort."
Kyle Leffler led the Huskies with eight points, and teammate Trent Beckley finished with five. Meek said Battle Mountain was without its top player, 6-foot-4 Connor Drum, who missed the game with an injured shoulder.
The victory gave Steamboat its fifth league title in the past eight years.
"(Winning the league) has been the kids' goal all season," Meek said. "I want them to enjoy it, but we will set a new goal at (today's) practice and get back to work."