Sailors ready to face Eagle Valley

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— Steamboat Springs girls basketball coach John Ameen thinks he may have found the solution to his team's season-long struggles.

After watching the first half of last Saturday's game against Palisade - a game Steamboat dominated in the first half - Ameen said the difference between the first 16 minutes of the game and last 16 revolves around one thing: aggressiveness.

"In the first half of that game, they looked for their shots and they were hitting them," Ameen said. "They weren't gun shy. They looked to score but didn't try to force things."

In the second half, Ameen said the Sailors (0-11 overall, 0-4 in conference play) reverted back to playing hesitant. The end result was another loss.

Still, Ameen remains upbeat about today's game against Eagle Valley (1-11, 0-5) at 6 p.m. in the Kelly Meek Gymnasium.

"The girls haven't lost focus in practice or interest or anything like that," Ameen said. "That's always good despite how the season has gone in terms of wins and losses."

Ameen said the key to winning the game will come down to rebounding, limiting turnovers and solid defense.

"Usually, in basketball it's that simple," he said.

On the boys side, Steamboat coach Kelly Meek isn't looking at Eagle Valley's 3-9 record. In fact, Meek said records should be the furthest thing from his players' minds.

"If we look at records, we'll fall back," he said. "We have to take each opponent as the most important of the year."

Meek said he knows Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel well, and knows Gabriel will have his team ready to play.

Eagle Valley likes to run its offense through the high post, Meek said.

He said he expects a tight man-to-man defense, but will be prepared for anything.

"We've seen about every defensive set this year," he said.

With a full week of practice, Meek was able to work senior Garrett Brew and junior Blake Weinstein into the rotation in the absence of injured forward Richie Keith. Keith tore his ACL in a game against Moffat County. Meek said Keith will have surgery in two weeks to completely replace the ACL.

Even with the new rotation, Meek said the Sailors' (9-3, 4-0) week of practice has been "really excellent."

"We know who we are. We have to come out as five guys working together in concert," Meek said. "I know that and our kids know that. We are skilled, smart basketball players. We have to work together for things to work."

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