Sailors take aim at Bears

Basketball teams return to action tonight

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Steamboat Springs girls basketball, 2008-09

Steamboat Springs boys basketball, 2008-09

It would be hard for the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team to accomplish what it wants to Saturday without taking care of business today.

Certainly, it would be human nature to look past a 7:30 p.m. contest with Rifle High School today and focus on Saturday's 5:30 p.m. game at Glenwood Springs High School. With two wins this weekend - or just one against Glenwood - Steamboat would put itself in position to wrap up its third consecutive Western Slope League title. Although Glenwood Springs, currently second in the league, obviously poses the bigger challenge, Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe is urging his players not to look past 6-12 Rifle.

"Like I told the guys, it's just a matter of us understanding (that) what we do against Rifle dictates a lot of the stuff we can do against Glenwood," DeWolfe said. "A lot of the things we want to do against Rifle are what we want to against Glenwood. We have to understand, it's for a league title Friday night. It's that important, and our intensity needs to be there."

As Steamboat (13-5 overall, 10-0 in league) found out last week in closer-than-expected games at Palisade and Delta, the team is going to get every team in the league's best shot, each night. DeWolfe said it will be instrumental to get off to a fast start against Rifle and not allow the Bears to remain in the game.

Although the coach wouldn't look too far ahead to Saturday's game, he said he does expect a battle like the first time Steamboat and Glenwood hooked up - a 47-45 Sailors win in overtime.

"We've talked about it, and it really is a big thing for us to control our own destiny and not have to play a numbers game and hope for other teams to win or lose," he said. "If we win out, we determine our own destiny and playoff situation. We have to keep winning and keep doing the things we've been doing."

Girls look to build on win

It didn't take Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball coach John Ameen long to figure out how to spend the first half of practice on Wednesday.

Coming off the team's best performance of the year, a 63-39 win at Eagle Valley on Tuesday, Ameen sat the girls down and watched the tape of the first half.

"This is what we're capable of," Ameen said.

Now, the task is to play the same type of game at 6 p.m. today at home against Rifle and at 4 p.m. Saturday at Glenwood Springs.

While Rifle and Glenwood are two of the top-three teams in the league, Ameen knows Steamboat (6-12 overall, 3-7 in league) has every chance to be competitive.

All he has to do is look at the teams' first meetings of the year. Steamboat fell to Rifle, 57-53, in overtime and lost to Glenwood, 55-48.

Steamboat had ample opportunities to win both games.

"It's that we should have beat them and that we can beat them," Ameen said. "We should be fine if we put ourselves in position to win the game. If we play like we did and make a couple adjustments, then we should have the chance to win."

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