Girls basketball led by sisters, cousins

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Girls basketball season schedule

2006 Steamboat girls basketball

Dec. 1 vs. Coal Ridge at Roaring Fork Tournament, 3:30 p.m.

Dec. 2 vs. Roaring Fork at Roaring Fork Tournament, 5 p.m.

Dec. 7 Steamboat Shootout, games start at 3 p.m.

Dec. 8 Steamboat Shootout, games start at 3 p.m.

Dec. 9 Steamboat Shootout, games start at 8 a.m.

Dec. 14 at Flaming Gorge Tournament, TBA

Dec. 15 at Flaming Gorge Tournament, TBA

Dec. 16 at Flaming Gorge Tournament, TBA

Jan. 5 vs. Rifle, 6 p.m.

Jan. 6 at Glenwood Springs, 4 p.m.

Jan. 9 vs. Moffat County, 6 p.m.

Jan. 12 vs. Delta, 6 p.m.

Jan. 13 vs. Palisade, 4 p.m.

Jan. 19 vs. Eagle Valley, 6 p.m.

Jan. 20 at Battle Mountain, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 26 at Rifle, 6 p.m.

Jan. 27 vs. Glenwood Springs, 4 p.m.

Feb. 2 at Delta, 6 p.m.

Feb. 3 at Palisade, 4 p.m.

Feb. 9 at Moffat County, 6 p.m.

Feb. 10 at Eagle Valley, 4 p.m.

Feb. 16 vs. Battle Mountain, 6 p.m.

Districts TBA

State playoffs TBA

— The Steamboat Springs girls basketball team may not have the numbers of other programs, but it sure will have the camaraderie.

This year's varsity team features two sets of sisters and a set of cousins. Head coach John Ameen said sisters Shannon and Colleen King and Emily and Gracie Stockdale, as well as cousins Brittany Long and Torie Christensen, all will play a key role for the Sailors.

"It should be fun," Emily Stockdale said. "We and the King sisters have been playing together forever. It should be neat to have all of us playing together at once."

Although Ameen said the camaraderie should key the season, he admits the lack of depth is a concern. This year, only 18 girls - eight of whom are freshmen - went out for basketball. Ameen said he'll dress 12 players on the varsity team and will feel out a rotation in the first month of the season. With the relative inexperience and uncertainty of a rotation, Ameen said he won't set a specific goal for the season.

"In basketball, I've never been much of a goal setter with wins and losses," Ameen said. "I think what's important is if we've improved from day one to now and how we improve from game-to-game."

Steamboat should find out where it stands early in the season. The team will play at least two games starting Friday in the Roaring Fork Tournament. Then, the next week, the team comes home for at least three games in the Steamboat Shootout.

"I don't know how we'll do," junior Alyssa Walter said. "I think we'll have a great team, because we've been working really hard."

One thing Ameen focused on in his first two weeks was improving the girls' basketball skills. The past two weeks, Ameen said, have been more focused on putting in offensive and defensive sets.

"We've really learned a lot the last two weeks," he said. "The focus has been more on just playing against each other, five-on-five."

Ameen said the team won't purely be a running team or a half-court team. Instead, it will cater the offense to which team it plays. He also doesn't have a starting lineup set yet. He knows his three seniors (Shannon King, Emily Stockdale and Christensen), two freshmen (Colleen King and Gracie Stockdale) and Long will see a lot of playing time.

"Some of (the lineup) is set," he said. "You'll see it change a lot in this first month. We have to see what combinations work. It comes down to who gives us the best chance to win."

Ameen said he has been especially pleased with Long. Ameen call the sophomore point guard a "gym rat," and said she'll play a crucial role this year.

"She's hard-nosed and my type of player," Ameen said. "She picks up on things real quick and she is a runner. She can just go."

Although Ameen doesn't know a lot about the teams in the league or around the state, he said he does know he'll put a hard-working group of girls on the court.

"I think we'll surprise a lot of people," he said. "Maybe not in the wins and loss column but in how we improve game-in and game-out. We've already made great strides. It will be fun to see where we'll end up."

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