Girls basketball falls to Coal Ridge

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— Stealing passes to jumpstart fast breaks, the Coal Ridge girls basketball team built up an early lead that carried all the way to the end, as the Titans downed the Steamboat Springs Sailors, 57-43 in the first game of the Brenda Patch Tournament on Friday at Roaring Fork High School.

The Titans came up with 10 steals in the first half, most of which were quickly transitioned down the floor, ending with easy layups.

Coal Ridge, aided by guard Daile Gray's four steals, outpaced the Sailors to take a 31-19 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Steamboat went cold, missing the majority of its shots and only scoring four points through the first seven minutes of the frame. The Sailors then scored five points in the last minute, led by a Gracie Stockdale 3-pointer, to reduce the Titans lead to 43-28 heading into the final quarter.

Steamboat cashed in on 17 second-half fouls, sinking nine free throws on its way to a 15-point fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.

Coal Ridge's offense was spread out with everyone on the team making contributions. Nine of 10 Titans scored, with Gray leading the way with 15 points.

Freshman Tori Verdieck came up one rebound shy of a double-double in her Titans debut, with six of her 10 points coming on put backs from offensive rebounds.

Brittany Long led the Sailors on offense, scoring 12 points while Lizzie Stoll and Shannon King each chipped in eight.

"In that second half, we were much better. In the first half, the experience really came through," said Steamboat head coach John Ameen of his team that consists of only one senior. "In the second half we regained our composure and ran the plays and hopefully we can build off of that."

Coal Ridge will play Battle Mountain in its final game of the Brenda Patch Tournament at 2 p.m. today, while the Sailors will face host Roaring Fork at 5 p.m.

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