Sailors fall prey to Wolves

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Four games into the season, the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team is still looking for its identity.

"We are just trying to find the right mix of people," junior Shannon King said.

On Friday, Steamboat dug itself as much as a 20-point deficit it could not overcome in a 53-41 loss to Green River, Wyo., in the consolation round of the three-day Steamboat Shootout.

Steamboat (1-3) finishes the tournament with an 8 a.m. game today against Aspen.

Sailors coach Ashley Berg--gren used 11 players Friday, as she continues to look for a starting lineup and a good rotation of players off the bench. Against the Wolves, particularly in the second quarter, she also was looking for a spark.

"You can miss all the shots you want, but if you don't play with any intensity, you don't get to be on the floor," she said.

Little went right for the Sailors in the first half against the Wolves. Steamboat and Green River were close through the first quarter, but the Wolves began to pull away at the start of the second off buckets from Stephanie Kindel and Jenika Bird.

Steamboat senior Liz Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 3 minutes, 4 seconds left in the half to pull her team to within six points, 18-12, but Green River went on a 6-0 run to close out the second quarter and took a 12-point lead into the locker room.

"She said you need to show me some heart and intensity," King said, remembering Berggren's halftime speech. "I was like, put me in."

Green River came out and executed perfectly to start the second half, extending its lead to 34-14 with 4:05 left in the third quarter on a basket from Corina Noel.

Berggren called a smart timeout, and with 1:48 left in the third quarter, the Sailors began their comeback.

Senior Tara King hit one free throw. Senior Missy Chotvacs grabbed an offensive rebound off King's missed free throw and put it in.

Shannon King hit a 3-pointer at the tail end of the third quarter, and senior Jessica Peters added a three-point basket on the first possession of the fourth quarter, pulling the Sailors to within 13 points with 7:33 left in the game.

Steamboat senior Ann Barney cut Green River's lead to single digits, 40-31, on a three-point play with 6:27 remaining.

Chotvacs fouled out on Steamboat's next possession, however, and Green River went on an 8-4 run during the next 3:14 to put the game away.

Senior Ashlee Carroll led the Wolves with 16 points. Noel and Bird also scored in double figures.

Chotvacs had seven points, and Shannon King had six points for the Sailors.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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