Photo by John F. Russell
Steamboat Springs senior Michael Vandahl drives through several Moffat County defenders in the third quarter of Friday night's game in Steamboat Springs. The Sailors won, 54-41
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Steamboat Springs The night, the game and possibly the distinction of best point guard in the state belonged to Steamboat Springs' Michael Vandahl on Friday night against Moffat County.
With Aaron Calkins out with an injury, Vandahl scored a career-high 37 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the field and all but took over the game from the opening tip of Steamboat's 54-41 win.
"It's nice," Vandahl said. "It's pretty easy when all your shots are going down."
Vandahl seemingly couldn't miss in the first quarter.
The senior guard poured in 18 of his team's 21 first-quarter points, helping Steamboat take a commanding 21-10 lead.
"Vandahl just played a lights-out game," Moffat County coach Steve Maneotis said. "I mean, he's shooting from everywhere on the floor, and I'm not sure of anybody who would have stopped that young man (Friday). My hat's off to him."
Steamboat extended its lead to 49-25 after three quarters before Moffat County started to mount a comeback. The Bulldogs began the fourth quarter with an 11-2 run to cut the Steamboat lead to 51-36 with 3 minutes, 35 seconds remaining.
But after stopping Steamboat on five consecutive possessions, Moffat County couldn't convert on offense, ending any hope of ending the Sailors' 28-game league winning streak.
"I thought it was a tremendous defensive effort," said Steamboat coach Kelly Meek, whose team limited Moffat County to 17-of-44 shooting from the field and caused 21 turnovers. "We came out and put the pressure on them and ate them up."
Meek said a big part of the win came from seniors Ryan Shaw and Connor Moore. While the two combined for only seven points, Meek said their defense on the perimeter - they combined for seven steals - made it tough for Moffat County to get the ball inside.
"We trapped the ball very well," Meek said. "We had to do some things different without (Calkins), but Connor and Ryan really, really stepped up."
Colby Kostur added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Steamboat.
Chayton Owens led Moffat County with 12 points, while Blake Najera and J.T. Haddan each scored eight.
Moffat County travels to Battle Mountain today, while Steamboat heads to Eagle Valley.