Steamboat Springs Despite Friday's 57-33 loss to Roaring Fork in the second round of the Steamboat Shoot-Out, Steamboat girls coach John Ameen could see progress and growth in his young team.
Just a week after losing to the Rams by 30, the Sailors came out and competed with the deep, junior-laden team.
"We were not intimidated I don't think as much this game as the last time we played them," Ameen said. "Overall, everything is better compared to last week."
In the early going, Steamboat battled despite losing forward Lizzie Stoll who picked up two fouls just two minutes into the game. The Sailors cut the Rams' lead to just three points, at 11-8, near the end of the first quarter after Emily Stockdale hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
But after Stockdale's three, the Sailors didn't score for the next four minutes. Behind solid defense, and the play of point guard Celeste Comings (eight points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals), Roaring Fork finished the half on a 24-8 run to take a 33-16 lead into halftime.
"Defense first and then everything else comes after that," said Roaring Fork coach Kirk Cheney, whose Rams forced the Sailors into 14 first half turnovers and 24 in the game.
Any hopes of a Sailor comeback were dashed early in the third quarter when Roaring Fork opened up the half with an 8-2 run to extend its lead to 41-18.
Ameen said the Rams mostly hurt the Sailors with their inside play last game. This time, it was Roaring Fork's outside touch that put the game out of reach.
The Rams had only three 3-pointers, but consistently made mid-range jumpers all night.
Eight different players from Roaring Fork scored, including 11 each from Rebecca Roeber and Maria Flores.
The Sailors struggled from the field, shooting just 23 percent (14-of-60).
"They hit shots, and we didn't," Ameen said. "They're just an all-around solid team to where all five starters and plus two off the bench can come in and stroke it."
The Sailors were led by Emily Stockdale's eight points. Shannon King and Colleen King added six points each and Gracie Stockdale had five.
The Sailors play today at 8 a.m. against Falcon.
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