Steamboat boys basketball beats Palisade by 6

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Steamboat Springs boys basketball, 2008-09

Steamboat Springs senior basketball players Nelson Brassell and Alex Wood kept reiterating the point.

The two have been through years of winning and dominating the Western Slope League, and they weren't going to let a pesky Palisade team ruin it Friday night.

So even with Steamboat trailing by 5 late in the game, the two leaders scored 20 fourth-quarter points in helping Steamboat to a 50-44 win.

"Especially with our seniors, Alex and Nelson said, 'we're not losing this game,'" Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. "Those two set the tone for us and held true to their word. We didn't lose, and they carried us."

Still, it wasn't easy.

Palisade came out and led for the better part of three quarters. Steamboat struggled on defense early in the first half and couldn't seem to get into a rhythm.

"They really wanted to beat us, and we let that happen first half of the game," DeWolfe said. "In the third quarter, we started coming back."

Steamboat had cut Palisade's 7-point halftime lead to 5 going into the fourth quarter.

That's when Brassell and Wood took over.

The two scored 20 of their combined 37 points in the fourth quarter in improving Steamboat to 12-5 overall and 9-0 in league play.

"Hopefully, we realize these teams are better," DeWolfe said. "Everybody in this league is capable of beating you. It's definitely a step for us. That's a team that can beat anybody on any given night. I'm happy to be done with that one and not have to play that team again."

The boys continue play at 5:30 p.m. today at Delta.

Steamboat girls drop game

It was an all-too-familiar scenario for the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team.

Like many of its Western Slope League games before, Steamboat jumped out to a lead against Palisade on Friday night, before turnovers and defensive breakdowns allowed the Bulldogs to pull away with a 55-48 win.

"There are so many glimpses of good play by every single player on the floor," Steamboat coach John Ameen said. "What we need to do is play more cohesively for the game and have a basketball presence, no matter what the time and score is."

The Sailors (5-11 overall, 2-6 in league) jumped out to a 13-2 first-quarter lead, before the Bulldogs changed from a man defense to a zone.

The zone caused Steamboat fits, and Palisade took a 25-22 lead heading into halftime. The two teams played a back-and-forth affair in the third quarter with the score knotted at 39 heading into the final frame.

"We played a decent third quarter," Ameen said. "Then, in that fourth, we missed open shots, broke down defensively and sent them to the line more."

The Bulldogs made 17 of 37 free throws, while Steamboat shot just 12 of 27. Hannah Moore led Steamboat with 12 points. Brittany Long chipped in 10.

The girls continue play at 4 p.m. today at Delta.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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