Photo by Matt Stensland
Steamboat Springs High School senior Nelson Brassell puts up a shot during the second quarter of Friday night's game against Rifle High School at Kelly Meek Gymnasium. The Sailors won, 54-45.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Steamboat Springs boys basketball, 2008-09
- Dec. 5, Steamboat 48, Roaring Fork 34 at Roaring Fork Tournament; (1-0)
- Dec. 6, Steamboat 53, Basalt 36 at Roaring Fork Tournament; (2-0)
- Dec. 11, Castle View 57, Steamboat 38 at Steamboat ShootOut tournament; (2-1)
- Dec. 12, Steamboat 70, Summit 41 at Steamboat ShootOut tournament; (3-1)
- Dec. 13, Green River, Wyo., 68, Steamboat 41 at Steamboat ShootOut tournament; (3-2)
- Dec. 18, at Flaming Gorge Classic basketball tournament; (3-3)
- Dec. 19, Evanston, Wyo. 49, Steamboat 37 at Flaming Gorge Classic basketball tournament; (3-4)
- Dec. 20, Cheyenne East 41, Steamboat 38 at Flaming Gorge Classic basketball tournament; (3-5)
- Jan. 9, Steamboat 46, Battle Mountain 23; (4-5)
- Jan. 10, Steamboat 55, Eagle Valley 30; (5-5)
- Jan. 16, Steamboat 78, Palisade 46; (6-5)
- Jan. 17, Steamboat 66, Delta 37; (7-5)
- Jan. 23, Steamboat 65, Rifle 38; (8-5)
- Jan. 24, Steamboat 47, Glenwood Springs 45; (9-5)
- Jan. 27, Steamboat 44, Moffat County 32;(10-5)
- Jan. 30, Steamboat 63, Eagle Valley 41;(11-5)
- Feb. 6, Steamboat 50, Palisade 44;(12-5)
- Feb. 7, Steamboat 54, Delta 43;(13-5)
- Feb. 13, Steamboat 54, Rifle 45;(14-5)
- Feb. 14, Glenwood Springs 61, Steamboat 51;(14-6)
- Feb. 17 vs. Moffat County, 7:30 p.m.
- Feb. 20 at Battle Mountain, 7:30 p.m.
- Feb. 25 state playoffs begin
Steamboat Springs Teams don't win 41 straight Western Slope League games without finding almost every possible way to win.
So even when Rifle High School made its run, couldn't seem to miss a shot and was playing with unparalleled confidence, the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team found the right combination Friday, downing the visiting Bears, 54-45.
"I thought, overall, we didn't play horribly," Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. "They had a great game plan and hit some huge shots. We got their best look - it's the nature of the league. We're trying to fight through good teams. It's not ideal, but a win is a win."
Steamboat had chances to run away with the game Friday.
Twice, Steamboat (14-5 overall, 11-0 in league) exploded on streaks, pushing its lead to double digits.
The first came at the start of the second quarter with the game knotted at 11. The Sailors opened the quarter on a 13-0 run to take a 24-11 lead.
Then, with the game at 27-19 at the start of the third quarter, Steamboat went on a 9-0 run in less than two minutes to take a commanding 36-19 lead.
"It's not just our team, it's all the teams. When that happens, they think they have to change their style of play," Rifle coach Chris Lowther said. "I don't want them to change the game plan at that point. You can climb back into it. You just keep executing, keep defending and keep doing things right."
Lowther's words turned into actions.
The Bears (6-13, 3-8) roared back with a 12-0 run of their own to cut the lead to 36-31. Rifle kept battling back, closing within 45-43 with just 2:19 left in the game.
But that's when Steamboat found its way to win.
The Sailors turned to seniors Alex Wood and Nelson Brassell down the stretch to put the game away.
Wood and Brassell scored 14 fourth-quarter points and all of Steamboat's 27 second-half points while combining to shoot 8-of-10 at the free throw line in the final frame to put the game away.
"There were times we could have gotten real tight and let the game slip away," DeWolfe said. "But we did a nice job of not letting that happen."
Brassell led the Sailors and all scorers with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Wood added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Tyler Rust paced the Bears with 18 points. Eric Laudick chipped in 10.
Rifle continues play today against Moffat County, while Steamboat plays its biggest game of the year at Glenwood Springs.
With a win, Steamboat would wrap up its third consecutive league title.
"It's a huge one," DeWolfe said about the 5:30 p.m. contest today. "They know that; they understand that, and I know Glenwood knows that. But this is what high school sports is all about - good teams playing each other. Makes it a lot of fun. We're looking forward to it."