Steamboat Springs Even with a roster that's starting to look like an infirmary, the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team continues to win.
With top scorer Aaron Calkins battling an ankle injury, point guard Michael Vandahl unsure if he could play after suffering a thumb injury against Delta Friday night and senior Cameron Petet battling flu-like symptoms, Steamboat remained perfect in league play Saturday, downing Palisade, 69-53.
"Our kids are tough. They are just mentally tough," Sailors coach Kelly Meek said. "They just get tough when they need to."
The Sailors (15-3 overall, 10-0 in league play) quickly jumped to a 17-11 lead in the first quarter. After the Bulldogs cut the lead to 23-20 midway through the second quarter, the Sailors exploded on an 18-3 run to finish the quarter and went into halftime leading 41-23.
The closest Palisade came was at the start of the fourth quarter when the team cut the Steamboat lead to 14, at 52-38.
But on the next Sailors possession, Meek said they used more than a minute of the clock before finding a backdoor layup.
"We executed on both ends," Meek said. "Our main goal was to get them to play in the half court, 5-on-5 : We looked like a totally different team than (Friday) and that says a lot about our team's personality."
Calkins led the Sailors with 25 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Petet added 17 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks, while Colby Kostur had 11 points and three steals.
Meek said he was especially impressed with Petet, Vandahl and Tanner Stillwell's performance. Meek said they were unsure whether Vandahl would be able to play because of his thumb injury, but after talking with a doctor they taped his thumb and Vandahl scored 10 points and dished out 10 assists.
"He couldn't shoot, but he played really smart and moved the ball well," Meek said.
Though Stillwell didn't score, Meek said his presence on the court holds the team together.
"He's a glue. He's an absolute glue for our team," Meek said of Stillwell, who finished with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. "He never shows up in the box score, but the biggest part is he shows up with his heart."