Sports briefs: Hayden, Steamboat girls basketball wins at Flaming Gorge Classic

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The Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team won its opening-round game of the Flaming Gorge Classic basketball tournament Thursday in Green River, Wyo., downing Kemmerer, Wyo., 44-40.

The Sailors started out strong offensively, taking a 10-point advantage to the break. Kemmerer, who stayed in the game by getting multiple offensive rebounds, started to cut into the lead in the second half.

By the time the fourth quarter hit, Kemmerer had cut the lead to three.

“In the second half, offensively we weren’t as sharp,” Steamboat coach John Ameen said. “We didn’t hit as many shots, and they battled back.”

But the Sailors burned some clock and hit five of seven free throws in the final two minutes to pull away for the win.

“There is no win you can be unhappy about,” Ameen said. “But at the end, the final 2 1/2 minutes, we did run clock and play defense the way we should have. There were stretches in the game where we did do well.”

Tara Spitellie led the team in scoring, pouring in all 11 of her points in the first half. Hannah Moore chipped in 10.

Steamboat (5-1) plays at 8:15 a.m. today against Mountain View, Wyo.

Sailors boys basketball falls in Wyoming tourney

Still shorthanded, the Steamboat Springs High School basketball team was outmanned and outplayed in the team’s opening game of the Flaming Gorge Classic basketball tournament Thursday, falling to Rock Springs, Wyo., 68-48.

Steamboat, without returning leading scorer Jack Spady or forward Connor Landusky, struggled to keep pace with the deeper, more physical Rock Springs team.

“We hung around 10 points until about the third quarter,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. “Then they started to extend on us.”

Rock Springs, ranked No. 5 in Wyoming’s largest classification, used its offensive rebounding and created a plethora of Steamboat turnovers to run away with the win. The team also was deep enough to get to its 12th player on the bench, while Steamboat struggled to get past the eighth man in its rotation.

DeWolfe couldn’t fault the effort, but he said the Sailors wore down and couldn’t keep up with the pressure.

“We hit a big shot, and then they’d come down and hit a big shot,” DeWolfe said. “We got tired and were making mistakes on defense. It sort of snowballs itself a little bit. We just have to keep working and getting better.”

Charles Wood led the Sailors with 18 points. Isiah Mendoza-Forsyth kicked in 15 points and Randall Nelson had seven.

Despite the loss, DeWolfe said the game and tournament would help Steamboat in the long run.

“Hopefully, this creates some depth when Connor and Jack come back,” he said. “We’re playing very good teams. We’re just getting outmanned a little bit.”

Steamboat continues action at 10 a.m. today against Union, Utah.

Hayden girls basketball tops Farson-Eden, 49-39

It wasn’t pretty, but Hayden girls basketball coach Eric Hamilton said for now, it will do.

His Tigers won their opening game in the Flaming Gorge Classic on Thursday, beating Farson-Eden, 49-39.

“We didn’t play great, but didn’t play too bad, either,” Hamilton said.

Hayden was at its best early, and the team raced to establish a 13-1 first-quarter lead.

That was as good as it got, though, and though the Tigers were in control the whole way, they never managed to put a larger gap between themselves and Farson-Eden.

Erin Koehler led the team with 12 points, and her sister Rachael Koehler scored 11.

Hayden returns to the court at 3:15 p.m. today against Rock Springs, one of the top teams in the largest class of Wyoming high schools.

“We’re going to need to pick it up about three notches,” Hamilton said.

Hayden boys basketball falls hard vs. Kemmerer

The Hayden boys basketball team knew it was in for a test in its opening-round game of the Flaming Gorge Classic.

The squad knows it didn’t pass, either. Hayden lost to Kemmerer, Wyo., 61-35.

Although coach Mike Luppes said Kemmerer proved to be every bit the team he warned his players about, the Tigers did plenty to make it an easy win.

“Turnovers were a killer for us,” Luppes said. “We didn’t play well. I don’t know if it was the long bus ride or that we then sat in the gym for six hours. Maybe it was a combination of those things, plus Kemmerer being a really good team.”

Graig Medvesk and Murphy Smartt each had 10 points for the Tigers.

The team turns around to play at 1:30 p.m. today against Mountain View.

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