Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Isiah Forsyth looks for an open teammate during the first half of Saturday's game against Eagle Valley.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Isiah Forsyth looks for an open teammate during the first half of Saturday's game against Eagle Valley.

Sailors boys switch up defensive style in 55-30 win

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Steamboat Springs boys basketball, 2008-09

— Knowing he didn't have the height to defend Eagle Valley's post players or the speed to stop Devils guard Cesar Castillo, Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball coach Luke DeWolfe deployed a tactic not often seen in the Kelly Meek Gymnasium the past 30 years.

DeWolfe went to a 2-3 zone.

It worked beautifully as Steamboat ran past Eagle Valley, 55-30, on Saturday night, looking as good as the team has all year.

"We just felt : with their really good guard who can penetrate, he could hurt us inside," DeWolfe said about the tactic. "We've played that zone a couple times, and our kids really respond to it. We wanted to put physical pressure on their post players. To get through Alex (Wood) and Nelson (Brassell) is a task. Especially Alex. Getting through him is going to be tough."

Eagle Valley opened up looking inside at 6-foot-10 forward Zach Ramsay. But each time Ramsay got the ball, the zone collapsed, often creating a turnover.

"That's exactly how I'd defend us," Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel said. "They were way more physical than us, unfortunately. Our kids got knocked around."

Steamboat had all but put the game away in the first two quarters.

Although the Sailors continued to struggle with their shooting - 7 of 22 in the first half - the Steamboat defense more than made up for it.

The Sailors created 14 first-half turnovers and took a 24-12 lead into the break.

"It seems to be getting better with each game," DeWolfe said about the offense. "There is still a lot of opportunity to improve. But it's just a matter of us hitting easy shots. If we can combine that with our defense, we'll be tough to beat."

Nelson Brassell led the Sailors with 15 points and seven rebounds. Alex Wood chipped in 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Castillo led Eagle Valley with 9 points, while Willie Magdziuk scored 8.

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