Steamboat Springs When it got bad, it got worse. And when it got worse, it got ugly for the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team Friday night against Rifle.
After stringing together its first winning streak in more than a year, the Sailors reverted back to old form - struggling with pressure and finding no offensive rhythm - in the 54-21 loss.
Offensively, the statistics didn't tell a pretty story for Steamboat.
The Sailors shot 9-of-44 from the field, had a stretch of more than 14 minutes without a field goal, scored nine points the final three quarters and committed 28 turnovers.
"I said one of the keys is quality offensive possessions, and we didn't have that many," Steamboat coach John Ameen said. "We could have probably shot 100 percent from the floor with all the shots that we took and probably still not have won the game. That's because they got so many more opportunities on their end."
On the other side, Rifle (8-7 overall, 6-2 in league play) had four players score eight or more points, shot 61 percent from the field in the first half and committed only 11 turnovers.
"We take a lot of pride in our defense," Rifle coach Brad Skinner said. "You see us. We're 5-foot-7 running around. We're not tall so we have to be quick, get in the passing lanes and play tough."
Initially, it looked like Steamboat (3-13, 2-6) would be able to stay close. Behind 10 first quarter points from Gracie Stockdale, Steamboat trailed by only nine, at 21-12, heading into the second quarter.
But that's when things went south for Steamboat.
After Colleen King scored a basket with one second left in the first quarter, the Sailors didn't pick up their next field goal until 1 minute, 2 seconds remained in the third quarter.
By that time, Rifle - led by 11 points from Cortney Cordova - had consummated a 23-3 run with a 44-15 lead.
"It's consistency, but it's a matter of playing strong and intense on the offensive end," Ameen said. "We didn't have that mentality at all for too long - maybe just part of the first quarter."
Stockdale led Steamboat in scoring while King added seven points.
Along with Cordova, Megan McWilliams added 10 points. Chelsea Webb and Kelsey Pyle each added eight.
Steamboat travels to Glenwood Springs for a 4 p.m. game today.
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org