Steamboat Springs boys basketball coach Kelly Meek is pleased --nd surprised -- with the way the Sailors picked up their first two wins in the Steamboat Shootout.
For the second time in as many nights, Steamboat won by three points. Meek said he is pleased the relatively young squad has found its poise late in games.
"I'm surprised we are losing our composure in those gaps," Meek added. "But we ran our set calls well down the stretch."
Both nights, the Sailors had to come from behind to win. On Thursday, Steamboat defeated Conifer, 42-39. On Friday, the Sailors beat Montrose, 49-46.
On Thursday, the Sailors overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half to win. On Friday, Steamboat surrendered a double-digit lead in the second half, forcing the Sailors to once again rally late.
"Some of us got tired, defensively," sophomore Aaron Cal--kins said. "We fought through it well. This team has a lot of heart."
And a lot of shooters.
On Thursday, sophomore Colby Kostur was key for Steamboat from behind the three-point line before senior Scott Peterson sealed the game with late free throws. On Friday, Calkins took his turn, coming off the bench to score 16 points, including three 3-pointers in the final quarter. Senior Mitch Bryden sealed the game with his two free throws with five seconds left.
Montrose never got off a shot to tie.
After trailing for the entire game, Montrose took the lead, 37-36, with six minutes, 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter off a shot from senior Cleveland Jones. His teammate Tyler Raw--lings got a basket moments later, giving Montrose a 41-36 lead with 3:52 remaining.
Calkins came down and hit a 3. The teams exchanged missed 3-pointers before Calkins hit another 3. His final 3-pointer of the game came with 18 seconds left and gave the Sailors the lead for good, 47-45.
"As a shooter, there is nothing better than seeing the ball go through the net," Calkins said.
The sophomore said he had a good warm-up, which carried into the game.
The Sailors controlled the first half, but they let Rawlings get loose on the offensive end in the second quarter. The senior finished with 22 but scored only six in the second half.
"We were switching (on screens) and getting a body on him when the shot went up," Bryden said, about the Sailors' second-half adjustments. "We had to block him out."
Bryden chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds. Peterson added six points and five re----bounds. Sophomore Michael Vandahl had six assists.
"That was huge," Meek said.
The Sailors improve to 2-2 with the win, and all four games have been tough. The next will be the toughest of the tournament. Steamboat plays Liberty at 8:15 p.m. today to determine the Steamboat Shootout champion.
"They are quick," Calkins said. "And they can shoot."
Montrose will play Roaring Fork in the consolation game at 4:45 p.m.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org