'Playing as one'

Steamboat boys basketball wins big at Rifle, but girls lose

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— The Steamboat Springs boys basketball team just keeps rolling. A 54-39 win Friday night at Rifle earns Steamboat its 10th consecutive win and puts the team at 7-0 in league play.

Despite the lopsided score, Steamboat coach Kelly Meek called the game "a hard-played contest - physical and quick."

The game started as a low-scoring grudge match, with Steamboat only up 10-8 after the first quarter.

Steamboat turned it on in the second quarter, outscoring Rifle 16-9 and then 15-7 in the third to extend the lead to 41-24.

"Our kids defended so well and passed the ball well," Meek said. "There was so much pressure inside. We were getting great looks over the top in transition, moving the ball and shooting well."

Colby Kostur led the Sailors with 15 points, followed by 13 from Michael Vandahl and 12 from Aaron Calkins. Calkins also chipped in 14 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals. Kostur and Alex Wood added 10 and 8 rebounds, respectively.

Meek noted the defensive pressure Tanner Stillwell provided and the bench play from Blake Weinstein.

Meek hopes his team can maintain its level of play for its home game today at 5:30 p.m. Steamboat takes on a Glenwood Springs team (11-3 before their Friday game) that Meek called the "most balanced team in the league as far as overall height and athleticism - they're real strong right now."

Meek said his kids will have to play extremely focused basketball.

That shouldn't be a problem if they can continue "playing as one," as Meek said they did Friday.

Steamboat girls

The Steamboat Springs girls basketball team is only a step away.

Coach John Ameen was pleased with the strides his girls have taken on defense and on taking care of the ball on offense.

Unfortunately, it's the turnovers between the two that cost Steamboat its Friday night game at Rifle.

"It was the half-court turnovers that killed us," Ameen said. "They pressed us, and we handled that well and we were solid defensively - it's just the easy buckets off turnovers and a lot more possessions for them."

Steamboat was only down 14 in the first half, but Rifle broke open the lead with a 19-4 run in the third quarter. The game ended at a score of 53-30.

Ameen noted the consistent force Gracie Stockdale provided on the offensive boards. She led the team with 16 points. Colleen King added a spark, grabbing rebounds and helping on the defensive side.

"Everyone played hard," Ameen said. "It's just taking care of the ball, we're giving them so many more chances."

With a confidence boost on the defensive end, Ameen hopes the Sailors can begin taking "the next step," of improving half-court possessions in their home game today against a skilled Glenwood Springs team. The game starts at 4 p.m.

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