Steamboat girls look to get back on track

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— In terms of getting the season back on track, no two games are more important for the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team than today and Saturday.

Steamboat (1-12 overall, 0-5 in league play) plays Eagle Valley at 6 p.m. in the Kelly Meek Gymnasium and at 5:30 Saturday in Battle Mountain.

The Devils and Huskies, respectively, each have one win in the league and two wins overall.

If Steamboat could pick up two wins this weekend, the team would most likely be in the best position to be one of the last qualifiers from the Western Slope League for the 64-team state tournament.

"We're almost halfway through the league and we're needing to get W's in that win column," Steamboat coach John Ameen said. The playoffs "are something to look forward to, but it's a matter of taking one game at a time and focusing on Eagle Valley. It's us taking care of business and worrying about that later."

In Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain, Steamboat finds two teams that practice the same principles employed by a majority of the Sailors' other opponents.

The two teams like to attack the basket, press and pack in their defense.

Ameen said that means it should come down to how well Steamboat shoots the ball.

"There's nothing wrong with taking those 15- to 17-footers," Ameen said. "But it's a matter of are you making them, and if you are making them, you can keep stroking it. If you're not making it, slow it down and look inside."

As it has been for Steamboat all year, Ameen said he's looking for the team to stay consistent for four quarters. Too many times, Ameen said, the Sailors have a good half or a good quarter before wilting. He said while Steamboat has to remain patient on offense, today and Saturday's games come down to defensive consistency.

"It's offensive patience and staying defensively intense," he said. "We talked about it earlier this week in practice. Defensive intensity isn't just pressing or pressuring the ball. Defensive intensity is being in the right spots. It's everyone getting a body on the defensive glass."

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