Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball player Matthia Duryea, right, celebrates with teammate Hannah Moore after their 51-42 victory against Delta High School on Saturday at Kelly Meek Gymnasium.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball player Matthia Duryea, right, celebrates with teammate Hannah Moore after their 51-42 victory against Delta High School on Saturday at Kelly Meek Gymnasium.

Steamboat girls hold onto 4th quarter lead to 51-42 win

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Steamboat Springs girls basketball, 2008-09

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Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball player Matthia Duryea goes up for a shot Saturday at Kelly Meek Gymnasium.

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Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball player Darcy Hornstein drives to the basket Saturday during the game against Delta High School.

— As early into the Western Slope League schedule as it is, the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team might look back at Saturday's game against Delta as a season-defining win.

Just a night after giving up a 13-point fourth-quarter lead to Palisade, Steamboat found itself in a similar position.

The Sailors were up nine points heading into the fourth quarter when the Panthers made a run. But this time, there wasn't the sloppy play, rushed offensive possessions or soft defense. Instead Steamboat played like it had for most of the game, picking up a 51-42 win.

"To our girls' credit, they bounced back," Steamboat coach John Ameen said. "Not a moment in that game did they let down or show signs of being upset or emotionally down from (Friday).

"That shows a little bit of character. We're right there in that league race now."

There certainly was that eerie feeling in gym as Delta made its run. Steamboat was leading, 45-33, with 5:08 left when Delta looked like it would get back into the game. The Panthers scored six straight points to cut the lead to 45-39 with 3:15 remaining. But unlike Friday, Steamboat responded on the offensive end.

Colleen King made a layup, and Gracie Stockdale added a field goal to put Steamboat up, 49-39, with 1:12 remaining.

Friday "didn't enter my mind at all, actually," said Steamboat point guard Brittany Long, who was instrumental in slowing things down for the Sailors. "As soon as it got down to 1:30 and we were 10 ahead, I was pretty content. (Friday) more so than (Saturday) I didn't even look at the clock or the scoreboard. I just played as hard as I could."

After a back-and-forth first quarter, Steamboat started to build a lead toward the end of the second and beginning of the third quarters.

The Sailors took a 28-21 lead into halftime and extended it to 41-32 heading into the fourth quarter.

"We really shut all their scorers down. That's how we won," Long said. "We really listened to the scouting report."

Darcy Hornstein led Steamboat with 12 points, while King added nine.

The win puts Steamboat at 5-7 overall and 2-2 in the Western Slope League. Maybe more importantly, the win gives Steamboat some much-needed confidence as the team heads into the meaty part of its schedule.

"It's a big win for our confidences and seeing we have the potential," Ameen said. "What this does for our confidence is unbelievable."

Steamboat next plays at 6 p.m. Friday at Rifle.

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