Friday, February 25, 2005
After rolling to a 10-point halftime lead against D'Evelyn in Friday night's sub-regional playoff game, the members of the Steamboat Springs High School girls team were looking for a knockout punch.
They got it from 5-foot-9 junior Ann Barney.
After failing to score a single point in the first half, Barney came to life in the third quarter. She was three-of-five from the field, including a 3-pointer, sparking the Sailors offensive attack en route to a 59-30 win against D'Evelyn in the first round of the Class 4A sub-regional at Moffat County High School.
Barney, who also was two-for-two from the free-throw line, netted nine of her 12 points during a third-quarter flurry that gave Steamboat a lopsided advantage in the game.
"We wanted to break open the game," Barney said. "We wanted to put them away early so that we could get some subs into the game."
Barney wasn't the only Sailor on the court hoping to put D'Evelyn away in the third. With the help of teammates Missy Chotvacs, Kayla Kostur and Erin Gleason, the Sailors outscored the Jaguars, 20-4, in the quarter. Chotvacs netted six of her 11 points in the game, and Kostur scored four of her game-high 18.
At the other end of the court, Steamboat's defensive showing stumped D'Evelyn's post Allison Rust for most of the night. Rust finished with 10 points, and guard Denise Lillibridge scored eight.
"We knew they had some strong posts, so we needed to double down a little bit and play tough defense down low," Barney said.
Steamboat held the Jaguars to 24 points through three quarters of play, and even with several key starters on the bench in the final four minutes of the game, the defense gave up a total of only 30 points for the game.
"That was the plan, and they (the Steamboat players ) executed it perfectly," Sailor coach Ashley Berggren said. "We knew we needed to shut down their big post players, and we were able to do that."
The coach also was pleased with how Steamboat rebounded the ball on both ends of the court. Kostur pulled down nine rebounds. Tara King had six rebounds, and Chotvacs collected five.
Things will get more difficult for Steamboat tonight when it takes on the region's top-ranked team, Moffat County, in Craig.
"Pressure, pressure pressure. If we want to beat them, we will need to put pressure on them from start to finish and maintain our composure," Berggren said.
Steamboat faced the Bulldogs twice this season. In the first meeting, Moffat County rolled past the Sailors, 56-23, but in the last game, two-points was all that separated the two teams at the buzzer, 50-52.
"We are pumped for the game," Barney said. "We know what they are about ... we all really like the crowd (in Moffat County). It's really fun to play in their gym because the crowd makes the game more intense."
Steamboat and Moffat County will face off at 6:30 p.m. today in the Moffat County gym.
In another sub-regional playoff game, Mullen defeated the Battle Mountain Huskies, 70-33, and will face Montrose in the next round.