Steamboat Springs The after-effects of a 57-40 loss to Palisade put Steamboat Springs in a sour mood as they filtered back toward the locker room.
"I wouldn't go in their right now," one player said to one of the team's managers. While you couldn't hear any loud voices emitting from behind closed doors, the Sailors left the building hushed and disgusted.
Why? With a basket or two more in the second half Steamboat could have broken it's seven-game losing streak, along with dashing the playoff hopes of an improved Palisade club.
The Sailors (0-5 league, 1-12 overall) scared the Bulldogs when they scored nine straight points to start the third quarter. Gracie Stockdale and Darcy Hornstein each had two field goals in a run that narrowed Palisade's lead to 31-27.
"They were playing pretty well. (Steamboat) earned every point they got," said Bulldogs head coach J.D. Miller. But, sloppy play by the Bulldogs, Miller said, added to Palisade's problems.
"We were out of position a couple of times. And we got a little careless and tried to steal the ball all the time. Those were chances we didn't have to take. And Steamboat wasn't going to roll over and play dead."
And matters seemed to improve for the Sailors when the Bulldogs 6-foot forward Holly Odneal was forced to the bench after committing her fourth personal foul a few possession afterwards.
Unfortunately, the anticipated rally never occurred.
Rather than producing Steamboat's offense regressed - back to the point were they hit on just 5 of 24 field goal attempts in the first half.
After going 4-for-5 in the opening 2:30 of the third quarter, Steamboat went 1-for-7 the rest of the period.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Palisade scored 10 of the next 12 points to pull away to a 40-29 lead.
Guard Amber Henderson nailed the coffin shut on Steamboat when she drained in a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Sailors reduced the deficit to nine early in the fourth, but failed to keep Palisade from adding to its lead after that.
Steamboat kept the defensive clamps on Odneal. The junior was held to nine points before fouling out in the final quarter.
But, the Sailors couldn't find a way to stop 6-foot, 1-inch Bernadette Pitre.
The Bulldogs' senior post ended with a game-high 15 points. More importantly, Pitre hauled down 20 rebounds.
It was the seventh time this season she finished a game with a double-double.
Stockdale had a good game. She finished with 13 to lead Steamboat. The rest of the scoring ledger was thin.
Outside of Lizzie Stoll's 7, None of Steamboat's six scorers had more than 4 points.