Finishing on a high note


— Since Steamboat Springs entered Class 4A, the boys teams have enjoyed undefeated league records four times.

Tonight against Battle Mountain, Steamboat will try to make it five.

"I think it's important to the kids," Steamboat coach Kelly Meek said.

Meek said it's also important to finish strong, as the commit-

tee that selects the playoff brackets on Saturday and Sunday really looks at teams' records in their last 10 games.

The Sailors (18-3 overall, 13-0 in league play) have won 16 games in a row after starting the season 2-3.

Still, the game against Battle Mountain (0-21, 0-13) would be easy to overlook.

The Huskies haven't won a game this year and lost to the Sailors, 85-49, earlier in the year.

Meek knows looking past Battle Mountain - and possibly to Selection Sunday - should be the furthest thing from his team's mind.

"We know teams come in against us with the hardest effort and the hardest hustle," he said. "We can't afford to not do those harder."

Meek said Battle Mountain will rely on three players.

In the teams' Jan. 20 meeting, Battle Mountain guard Zach Adamson scored 17 points. Meek said the Sailors will have to limit his touches and be conscious of the 3-point shooting of Clay Wilson and Ashlin Romero.

Meek said overlooking the Huskies shouldn't be a problem as the turnaround this year for the Sailors - who entered both The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News polls at No. 10 this week - happened when they quit worrying about the overall outcome of games and started playing for the possession at hand.

"They're really working hard at keeping in the moment," Meek said. "We have the saying, 'Sailor up.' We tell them, 'Sailor up,' and boom we're into the next thing : Plus, we've taken up that defensive challenge and moved with it. That's not coach driven, it's player driven."

On the girls side, Sailors head coach John Ameen said it's imperative to win against the Huskies to build momentum into the off season.

"The girls really want to end on a positive note with the way this season has gone in general," Ameen said.

In its previous meeting with Battle Mountain - a 48-32 loss - Ameen said Steamboat was cold from the field and settled for outside jumpers.

One thing he said he's been working on is getting his team to take the ball to the basket when they aren't hitting outside shots.

"It's just execution, urgency and doing thing correctly," he said. "We need to be more consistent."


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