Steamboat Springs Weathering a season with more downs than ups, Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball coach John Ameen said the focus as the season reaches its final weeks won't be looking at the past or the future.
Rather, it's simply looking at the now.
"It's looking at every defensive possession and trying to win every defensive possession," Ameen said. "It's coming out not looking back at the last possession or toward the next possession. It's taking care of it one at a time."
The Sailors will take that tried and true mentality - one possession at a time - to the court tonight against its chief rival, No. 5-ranked Moffat County, at 7 p.m. in Steamboat Springs. The Sailors then travel to Eagle Valley for a game at 4 p.m. Saturday.
It's no secret what Moffat County brings to the court.
The fifth-ranked Bulldogs feature two distinguished scorers in guard Angie Charchalis and forward Markie Workman. But Ameen said Moffat County's defense sets the team apart.
"It's handling their pressure," Ameen said. "Their man-to-man defense. That's what makes them one of the best teams in the state. Really, their defense drives them. It comes down to us being able to handle that."
Ameen was pleased with the way his guards handled the pressure in last weekend's games against Delta and Palisade. Ameen said the two losses weren't about Steamboat not handling the pressure, but about the Sailors struggling to maintain a suitable intensity level.
"This week's practice has been one of the better ones. All three days have been really good," Ameen said. "It's been real intense and focused, and the intensity isn't coming from me, per se. It's them pushing each other, and that's the positive thing."
Against Eagle Valley - a team Steamboat beat 50-43 earlier in the year - Ameen said it comes down to making just a few minor adjustments.
In the earlier game, Eagle Valley led, 18-11, early in the second quarter before Steamboat roared back to take the lead for good.
Ameen said the game was a prime example of what he's looking for.
"That was one game where it was possession by possession," Ameen said. "We had that focus. Now we just need to carry that over."
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org