Glenwood Springs Over winter break, the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team, whose tallest starter stands at 6'2", traveled to Wyoming to play in games against teams with posts that were 6'10".
The practice against big men paid off for the Sailors as Steamboat quieted Glenwood's inside game on the way to a 61-40 Class 4A Western Slope League victory Saturday night.
While Demon forward Kevin Warkentin (who's 6'3") scored 16 points in the paint during the game, fellow big man Ryan Foraker (who's 6'5") was held to zero.
"They did get some post feeds, but when they did we clamped on them pretty hard and made it hard for them," said Steamboat head coach Kelly Meek.
Steamboat worked around Glenwood's height when they were on offense as well, zipping the ball around with speedy, crisp passes that constantly found open guys. A lot of times those passes were to the perimeter where the Sailors drained six 3-pointers in the contest.
The Sailors (2-0 WSL, 7-4 overall), who have now won five games in a row, weren't always successful with their game plan, as Glenwood (1-1 WSL, 6-5 overall) hung very close in the first half. Demon Dakota Stonehouse, who finished the game with nine points, sunk a 3 right before the first-quarter buzzer to cut the Sailors lead to four at 13-9.
Warkentin completed two 3-point plays in the second quarter as Glenwood closed the gap to 23-21 at halftime.
Then Steamboat outscored the Demons 17-9 in the third quarter and then 21-8 in the fourth to pull away and seal the win.
"We made just enough defensive adjustments and our kids executed them really well. That really helped us and kind of stalled their offense," Meek said of his team's improved play in the second half. "Then our kids really executed well on the offensive end."
Sailor Alex Wood led the second-half attack with 10 points, including two 3-pointers. Adam Hawkins hit one 3 for Glenwood, but not much else was falling for the Demons. Even in the paint, Glenwood couldn't get layups to go in the hoop.
"Our game plan every game is to get it into the post. We struggle with it some games, but that's when the outside shooting has to come and it wasn't their today," Warkentin said. "Near the end, they started shooting and we just couldn't make anything."
Aaron Calkins and Michael Vandahl each totaled 14 points in the game for Steamboat.