Sailors boys basketball to face top 3 in league

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If you go

What: Steamboat girls and boys basketball vs. Glenwood Springs

When: Girls start at 4 p.m., boys start at 5:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Kelly Meek Gymnasium at Steamboat Springs High School

Game change

The Steamboat Springs boys and girls basketball teams will host Moffat County on Tuesday. The games originally were scheduled to be played in Moffat County. The girls game begins at 6 p.m. with the boys to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Steamboat Springs girls basketball, 2008-09

Steamboat Springs boys basketball, 2008-09

— Any confusion as to where the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team stands in the Western Slope League should be cleared up by early next week.

Steamboat plays the top three teams in the league in the next five days. Steamboat opens the stretch at 7:30 p.m. today at Rifle. The team then plays at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at home against Glenwood Springs, before welcoming Moffat County for a 7:30 p.m. showdown Tuesday.

Moffat and Glenwood share identical 4-0 league records with Steamboat, while Rifle sits at 3-1.

"It's definitely big," Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. "Good teams and great opportunities for us to establish ourselves at the top of the league. It separates the top three teams - Moffat County, Glenwood and us. We'll see how it shakes itself out. It's definitely a big weekend for all three teams."

Although the Glenwood and Moffat games may be the marquee ones on the schedule, DeWolfe said the tough stretch might hinge on today's game with Rifle.

While the Sailors (7-5 overall, 4-0 in league play) are a confident group - especially coming off two wins last weekend where they shot better than 50 percent from the field - it will be their first true road game in more than a month.

"It's one of those things where if we want to compete for a league title, they're all kind of must-wins," DeWolfe said. "That's one we definitely have to win. We have to be ready to go there and play.

"But I think, so far, we've been really level-headed in that way. We're making sure that we do game-by-game, quarter-by-quarter. We're doing the things we need to and not looking ahead."

Girls prep for big weekend

For three years, Steamboat Springs girls basketball coach John Ameen has talked about breaching the top level of the Western Slope League.

During the next five days, Ameen will find out whether his Sailors are ready to belong in that upper echelon.

Steamboat opens at 6 p.m. today at Rifle before playing at 4 p.m. Saturday at home against Glenwood. The team then plays at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home against Moffat County.

The three league opponents are a combined 11-1 in league play, with Rifle holding the only loss.

While Steamboat is 5-7 overall and 2-2 in league play, the Sailors are a mere six points away from being 4-0 in league play, after close losses to Eagle Valley and Palisade.

Ameen said the weekend will give a good indication as to just how far this Steamboat team has come.

"I think in that regard, this weekend is a little bit about respect and showing the league that we're here, and we're back," Ameen said. "You just can't walk out onto the court and play your style and have that be enough. You're going to have to play well. You're going to have to play hard. You're going to have to play four quarters in order to compete with us."

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