Steamboat answers tourney loss with two wins

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— Steamboat Springs boys basketball coach Kelly Meek thinks his team is finally finding their poise. The Sailors beat Green River 48-43 on Friday night to bring their tournament record to 2-1 at the Flaming Gorge Classic in Green River, Wyo.

Meek said his offense spread the ball well to lead the host team for the entire game in front out an estimated crowd of 1,500 home fans.

Steamboat's well-rounded scoring had Michael Vandahl with 16 points, Aaron Calkins with 12, Cameron Petet with 10 and Colby Kostur with eight.

"We executed really well," Meek said. "I like what I see. We're just flat shooting the ball, we probably hit over 50 percent from the field and were 9-for-10 from the free-throw line."

The Sailors had evened their record at 1-1 in the tournament with an earlier 69-51 win Friday morning over the Kemmerer High School Rangers.

Steamboat outscored Kemmerer, 41-21, in the second and third quarters to cruise to an easy win.

"We basically took control of the game at that time and were able to play a lot of our young kids down the stretch," Meek said.

Calkins netted an impressive 35 points, followed by Kostur's 16 points. Meek credited the guard play of Blake Weinstein (five assists) and Vandahl, who had nine points and nine assists.

Steamboat opened the tournament Thursday with a 58-55 loss to Sheridan. Despite the loss, Meek thought its was his team's best play of the season.

"We could've had this game," Meek said. "It's the best we have played so far. We played against a big, strong team, and I felt real good about what we got out of our kids defensively. It's the best defensive package we've put together, and the best shooting - we had eight (3-pointers) on the night."

Steamboat hung with Sheridan in the first half, hitting a shot in the last second of the second quarter to take a 28-26 lead into the half.

Calkins led the way for Steamboat with 19 points, followed by Vandahl's 14.

Despite going up against 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-6 post players from Sheridan, Steamboat rebounded the ball well, Meek said. Petet scored nine points from the post to lead the Sailors big men. Meek also mentioned the solid play of Richie Keith and Tanner Stillwell and clutch bench contributions from Blake Weinstein and Alex Wood.

Steamboat hit a 3 pointer to tie the game at 52 with 1 minute and 46 seconds left. But Sheridan pulled away down the stretch.

Despite his team's "good effort on the boards," Meek said the Sailors lost the game by losing the final key rebound battles.

Steamboat will play Rock Springs this morning to finish tournament play.

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