Steamboat win streak stopped

Boys basketball drops defensive battle with Rock Springs

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— The Steamboat Springs boys basketball team had its five-win hot streak snapped Friday night when its shooting went cold.

Steamboat lost, 41-35, to Rock Springs on the second day of play at the Flaming Gorge Classic in Green River, Wyo.

"We executed poorly on offense - we couldn't get a shot off in the ocean," Steamboat head coach Kelly Meek said, pointing to the telling statistic that the Sailors missed 17 shots within four feet of the basket.

The Sailors established themselves early with a quick 8-2 lead in the first quarter, and after Rock Springs tied things up, Steamboat regained a slim 15-13 lead heading into the half.

Steamboat even jumped ahead with a seven-point run to open the third quarter, with patient play and penetration inside.

Unfortunately, the composure didn't last.

"We just didn't establish a post presence, which we did well in" last week's Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out, Meek said. "The fact that the ball didn't go in meant everyone was getting tense."

Despite the lack of offense, Steamboat still hung in the physical game and was only down two points with 26 seconds left in the game. Steamboat missed an easy shot to tie, forcing the Sailors to foul, but Rock Springs was perfect from the line to seal the win.

Aaron Calkins led the Sailors with 24 points and six rebounds. Although Colby Kostur was limited to five points, the senior pulled down 13 rebounds. Michael Vandahl had six points and seven rebounds and senior Ryan Shaw, stepping in with an impressive performance off the bench, grabbed four rebounds.

"The positive factor is that we've seen some good players in our first seven games," Meek said. "Our preseason is strong - we've seen a lot of offensive systems and defensive systems and we've got to use that to make us stronger."

Steamboat (5-2 overall) continues play against staunch opponents with its final tournament game at 11:45 a.m. today against Evanston, who enters the game undefeated as Wyoming's No. 2-ranked team.

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