The Steamboat Springs boys basketball team lost both games in its season-opening tournament in Carbondale, but coach Kelly Meek said all was not lost during the weekend.
"I think we will see a lot of growth in this team," he said. "They showed me they have a big heart and will play physical."
Steamboat (0-2) lost to D'Evelyn, 54-39, on Friday and lost to host Roaring Fork, 50-44, on Saturday. D'Evelyn, one of the best teams in Class 4A this year, blew out Battle Mountain, 77-45, in the final.
But the Jaguars, who ended the Sailors' season last year, did not pull away from this year's Steamboat squad until late in Friday's game.
"We were within six points with four minutes left," Meek said. "They hit two threes. They three-balled us to death."
D'Evelyn's starting line-up has three players 6-foot-7 or taller and no player shorter than 6 feet tall. Steamboat's tallest player is senior Scott Peterson at 6-foot-5, but that didn't stop the Sailors from shutting down the Jaguars' two post players. They finished with just 16 points.
Sophomore Mike Vandahl led Steamboat with 11 points. Peterson had nine points, and senior Mitch Bryden had eight points. Bryden led the Sailors with nine rebounds. Sophomore Aaron Calkins had six boards.
"We got nice contributions from a number of kids," Meek said.
Despite having just two practices because of the late end to the football season, junior Tanner Stillwell got on the floor, as well.
"He really gave us some good stuff," Meek said.
On Friday, Steamboat led Roaring Fork, Class 3A runner-up last year, by seven points in the fourth quarter but lost the game.
Peterson finished with 12 points. Vandahl had 11. Bryden had nine points, and Calkins had seven points. Stillwell led the Sailors with six rebounds. Calkins and Peterson each had three assists.
Meek said sophomore Colby Kostur and senior Dillon Jenkins also played well during the weekend.
"We still need to develop more depth, and that's up to me," Meek said.
Steamboat will be back on the court at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against Conifer in its opening-round game of the three-day Steamboat Shootout.