Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball coach John Ameen has never lacked confidence heading into a game.
So as his Sailors head into a 6 p.m. game today at Delta and a 4 p.m. game Saturday in Palisade, the second-year coach is upbeat about what to expect, despite the team's 1-10 record.
"The confidence going into this weekend is the same," Ameen said. "Everything should be a little more tighter and smoother. We should be a little more comfortable in what we're able to do."
What Ameen wants the Sailors to do is play up to their capability. Ameen said he's seen flashes of it throughout the season, particularly as games closed out before the holiday break.
"These are games that we need to, I think, pick up wins," Ameen said. "With the progress (we've made), these should be W's this weekend."
Ameen said Steamboat will see similar playing styles from this weekend's competition. Delta and Palisade like to drive to the basket and feed the ball inside. But while Delta lacks a proven post player, Palisade boasts one of the best in 6-foot-1 Bernadette Pitre.
"She's really strong and athletic," Ameen said.
Ameen said the focus for the Sailors continues to be executing on offense and defensive fundamentals.
"We've been working a lot on our help defense and being quicker to the ball," he said. "We keep thinking our zone is our zone instead of reacting to the ball."
With a solid three weeks of practice and three games under their belts since the holiday break, Ameen expects to see Steamboat get back to the team that was improving every time it took the court.
"It's the offensive execution. It's getting more points on the board and maintaining the defensive intensity and fundamentals that made us successful in the past," he said. "I'm confident going in knowing the capability we have behind us."