Steamboat girls' struggles continue

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— The Rick Schmitz era of Coal Ridge girls basketball is off to a promising start, as the Titans improved to 2-0 with a 44-25 rout of Steamboat Springs on Saturday.

Defense did the trick in the teams' second-round game of the Roaring Fork High School-hosted Brenda Patch Tournament. Coal Ridge surrendered no more than seven points in any quarter and forced 30 Sailor turnovers.

"They played hard," said Schmitz, a veteran coach of 27 years who took over the Titans job in the offseason. "We've got some things to work on offensively, but hopefully that will come with time. We played hard, full-court defense."

What offense Coal Ridge did produce junior Morgan Jessup was a big part of, tossing in a game-high 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting. She also grabbed five rebounds and had a steal. Mikaela Guettler added nine points, and Matraisa Beecraft had five.

Saturday's success followed the Titans' 53-22 Friday night win against Battle Mountain and polished off a perfect run through the round-robin tourney. Best of all, both victories came at the expense of Class 4A schools.

Steamboat's season is off to a slow start, as the Sailors dipped to 0-2. Saturday's effort came on the heels of a lopsided 50-26 loss to Roaring Fork on Friday.

Poor shooting and a bevy of turnovers - traveling and throwaways were a far-too-frequent weekend occurrence - have cost Steamboat big. On Saturday, it was Emily Metscher pacing the struggling offense with seven points. Colleen King, Kylee Swiggart, Alyssa Walter and Lizzie Stoll each had four points as the Sailors hit just 10 of 44 shots from the floor and were 4-of-16 at the free-throw line.

Steamboat gets a few days of practice before hitting the floor again at its own Steamboat Shootout on Thursday. The Titans return to action Friday against visiting Plateau Valley.

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