Boys basketball team shoots 57 percent in victory

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Steamboat Springs boys basketball, 2008-09

The collective smile and sigh of relief from the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team couldn't have gone unnoticed.

After weeks of struggling to find offensive consistency and a shooting touch, Steamboat couldn't seem to miss Friday against Palisade.

The Sailors shot 57 percent, had four players score in double figures and hit nine 3-pointers en route to a 78-46 win in the Kelly Meek Gymnasium.

"The difference in where we've been and where we were (Friday) is shooting - plain and simple," Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. "I'm glad our kids stay positive, and hopefully, this is a sign of things to come."

If it's a sign of things to come, there won't be many teams that can beat Steamboat. In addition to shooting the ball so well, the Sailors were again stingy on defense, holding the Bulldogs to 19 of 50 shooting.

It started in the first quarter. After Palisade had taken a 4-2 lead, Steamboat started to find its rhythm. Nelson Brassell hit three first-quarter 3-pointers and Jack Spady hit another to vault Steamboat to an 18-8 first quarter lead. The Sailors had extended the lead to 27-13 with 4:41 to go in the second quarter, when they really took over.

For the next two minutes, Steamboat wouldn't miss. Brassell hit a jumper. Spady hit one. Isiah Forsyth hit a couple, and Charles Wood nailed three. All told, Steamboat went on a 14-2 run in a little more than two minutes.

"Coach just told us to be confident and wrote it really big on the board," said Wood, who led all scorers with 17. "We went out and shot confident. We've been shooting well in practice and it transferred over into the game. But I don't know if we can make many more shots. I don't know if we can shoot better than that."

The Sailors were almost as effective in the third quarter, scoring 24 points in building their lead to 65-36.

Along with Wood, Brassell scored 16 points, while Spady added 15 and Forsyth - despite flu-like conditions - scored 11.

The offensive outburst was a welcome sign to DeWolfe, who had been preaching for weeks that Steamboat was a good shooting team. He said he expects it to continue as Steamboat welcomes Delta for a 5:30 p.m. game today.

"It's hard to defend when you have everybody scoring," he said. "I think with any team, but especially with this one because of our youth, confidence for us is a big feather in our cap. Being where we're at now, that was a big boost for us."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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