Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs boys basketball team got a win Friday night in Delta the hard way.
Sailors coach Kelly Meek said his players told him it was one of the toughest games they've had defensively.
"It was one rough game," Meek said, citing Delta's hard-headed and constant offensive drives into the lane. "It was like a rugby scrum : It was a mess in the paint. There was no continuity, they'd just attack put it on the deck and there'd be collisions and body contact."
Already recovering from a couple of injuries, the Sailors suffered a costly setback from the physical brand of play when point guard Michael Vandahl injured his shooing thumb during the course of the game.
Meek said Vandahl would be "doubtful" for playing Steamboat's game today at Palisade.
Nonetheless, the Sailors were able to come back from a 22-21 deficit at the half to beat Delta, 55-45.
When the Sailors weren't busy shooting from the foul line, Meek credited his team's ability to shut down Delta's transition game and to win "the pitch battle," with a well-rounded rebounding game.
Despite a sore ankle, Aaron Calkins still had the hot hand, leading Steamboat with 30 points and seven rebounds. Colby Kostur had seven points, eight rebounds and four steals. Cameron Petet also had seven points with eight rebounds and four assists.
Everything seemed to be clicking for the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team in their Friday night game at Delta.
Coach John Ameen beamed about the girls' solid inside-outside game in the first half. They got solid penetration into the lane and ended up at the foul line 11 times, hitting nine of their shots. Shannon King provided the marksmanship, hitting three-pointers from the outside.
The game was tied up at the half at 27.
But when it came to what Ameen called "the critical junctures in the game," Steamboat could not execute offensively and replicate the balanced offense.
Although they didn't return to the foul line in the second half, the Sailors hung in the game that Ameen said was back and forth and featured several lead changes.
Steamboat even had a 48-46 lead with a few minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but couldn't pull away. The game ended 55-51 in Delta's favor.
Ameen thought his team handled the Delta press and the Delta defensive zone well, but had too many key second half turnovers in their set half-court offense.
"That's a game we should have won," Ameen said. "It's a mind set you have to have, to not be satisfied."
Ameen noted King's outside shooting, Gracie Stockdale's effort on the offensive boards and Colleen King's defensive rebounding, leading the Sailors with 10 boards.
The Steamboat girls play at 4 p.m., today at Palisade.
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