Steamboat boys basketball wins 40th straight

Sailors streak could be headed for 3 lossless seasons

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Steamboat Springs boys basketball, 2008-09

Steamboat Springs girls basketball, 2008-09

— There probably aren't many teams in the state, and not any in the Western Slope that accomplished what the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team did Saturday in Delta.

With the 54-43 win, the Sailors extended their league-record winning streak to 40. The streak started four years ago and has accompanied two undefeated seasons in league. With the way Steamboat is playing, it soon might be three undefeated league seasons.

The Sailors started quick against the Panthers, jumping out to a 28-8 halftime lead and a 42-25 lead heading into the last quarter.

"We were definitely ready to play," Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. "We came out and shot well and really executed well. We really did some nice things. Plus our rebounding controlled the game, and that really just disabled what they liked to do."

Charles Wood led Steamboat with 17 points, while Alex Wood chipped in 16 points. Now, Steamboat (13-5 overall, 10-0 in league play) turns its attention to the weekend. The team plays its last home game of the season at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Rifle. The team then travels for a 5:30 p.m. game Saturday at second place Glenwood Springs.

DeWolfe said that despite the hot start and recent wins, he's imploring his team to continue to focus on each game.

"Rifle will give us a good game," DeWolfe said. "The nice part is that one is at home. We'll try and get one at our place. Hopefully get momentum built up going into Glenwood. I think our kids are ready to play. A lot of things are decided, and it's going to be fun down the stretch."

Sailors girls falter in Delta

It hasn't been the first 16, or even 24, minutes of basketball that's hurt the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team this year.

In fact, those are the times Steamboat has been its strongest. But when the team gets to that final quarter - and final eight minutes - something happens.

On Saturday at Delta, that something happened again.

The Sailors let a 9-point fourth quarter lead slip away, falling to the Panthers in overtime, 70-61.

"Obviously, as coaches, we've failed somewhere along the way in communicating the expectations for end of the game situations," Steamboat coach John Ameen said. "It's not being in a hurry. When we have the lead we can stall."

Steamboat started the game off well and led Delta for most of the game. The Sailors led by nine points at halftime before the Panthers cut it to five at the midway point of the third quarter.

But Steamboat (5-12 overall, 2-7 in league) weathered the storm and got the lead up to 11 points going into the fourth quarter.

The teams battled back and forth in the final quarter, with Steamboat taking a nine-point lead with 2:45 remaining in the game. Delta stormed back, tying it in regulation, before running away with the game in overtime.

"While the offensive end hurt us in those last three minutes, they got their points from putbacks and from the free-throw line," Ameen said. "We made some dumb fouls that really hurt us."

Steamboat next plays at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eagle Valley. The game was rescheduled from Jan. 30.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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