Defense propels Sailors boys to 46-23 win

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— Even when the offense is sputtering, the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team knows it always can rely on its defense.

It also helps when a team that's struggled as bad as Battle Mountain is the opposition.

The Sailors overcame a poor first quarter on Friday night to easily cruise past the Huskies, 46-23.

Steamboat limited Battle Mountain to 14 percent shooting (8 of 55) and created 19 turnovers in the win.

"Defensively, we did a good job," Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. "We did a good job with a lot of the things we talked about in practice."

Early on, however, it looked like the Western Slope League opener would be a shootout. Despite four straight turnovers, the Sailors (4-5 overall, 1-0 in league play) jumped out to an 8-0 lead only to see that margin cut to 8-7 at the end of one quarter.

But with nerves out of the way, Steamboat began playing better. The Sailors limited the Huskies to a single point in the second quarter and held them without a field goal for more than 15 minutes through the second and third quarters.

By the time Battle Mountain's Parker Lathrop scored with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter, Steamboat had pushed its lead to 30-10.

"As it went on, we just got more comfortable," DeWolfe said. "We defended well and had a good game plan going into it. We knew they wanted to take it to the basket, and we defended that well."

Nelson Brassell led the Sailors with 13 points and nine rebounds. Charles Wood chipped in nine points, and Jack Spady scored eight.

Lathrop led Battle Mountain with five points while Miguel Copas and Mitch Cooley each scored four.

Battle Mountain continues league play today with Moffat County. Steamboat hosts Eagle Valley at 5:30 p.m. today.

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