Steamboat Springs A slow first quarter doomed the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team Saturday during the final day of the Flaming Gorge Classic Basketball tournament, as the team fell to Cheyenne East, 41-38.
Steamboat was outscored, 17-5, in the first quarter, largely because of Cheyenne East's pressure.
"We came out in the first quarter and stunk up the place," Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said.
Steamboat played markedly better in the final three quarters. The Sailors cut the lead to 22-17 at halftime and 32-28 through three quarters.
Steamboat took its first lead with 35 seconds left in the game. But after a scorekeeping error that made the Sailors inbound the ball again after a foul, instead of shooting free throws, Cheyenne East stole the ball and made a layup for the lead.
The Sailors had one last chance with 17 seconds left, but they missed a shot and were forced to foul.
Alex Wood led the Sailors with 15 points. Jack Spady added 12 and Nelson Brassell had nine.
"Down the stretch, it's just one of those things where it's a game we should have had," DeWolfe said. "I don't know if it's youth or inexperience, but we're just not taking care of the ball when we need to."
The game concludes the preseason portion of the Sailors' schedule. DeWolfe said despite going 0-3 at the Wyoming tournament, he feels better about his team than he did before the tournament started.
"Even though we got three losses, we feel better," DeWolfe said. "We played really good teams up here all three days and got better every single day. It's too bad we couldn't have got some wins, but playing these good teams up here will serve us well in league play."
Steamboat returns to the court on Jan. 9, when the team opens up its Western Slope League schedule against Battle Mountain.