Saturday, January 24, 2009
Steamboat Springs It's onto a battle for first place.
After downing Rifle, 65-38, on Friday, the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team now has the opportunity to take control of the Western Slope League.
With a 5:30 p.m. game today at home against Glenwood Springs - a team fresh off of a 72-62 overtime win in Moffat County on Friday - Steamboat could take sole possession of first place with a win today.
"It'll be a big one. It's for first place," Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. "We'll see, but I think we're ready. Our kids know what this game means. It's at our place, and it's one of those games what basketball is all about. You want to compete against good opponents."
Friday against Rifle, it was just more of the same.
Steamboat shot well, defended well and had decided the game in the first two quarters. The Sailors (8-5 overall, 5-0 league) jumped out to a 19-9 first-quarter lead and had extended it to 36-16 at halftime. Defensively, Steamboat limited Rifle's Tyler Rust - who came into the game averaging more than 20 points a game - to 14 points.
"We shot well and got a lot of good looks inside," DeWolfe said. "We definitely had a height advantage and were a lot more physical. We really were able to establish ourselves."
Nelson Brassell led the way for Steamboat with 20 points. Alex and Charles Wood each added nine.
Girls fall in overtime
It's not a secret anymore that the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team can compete.
But after a 57-53 overtime loss to Rifle on Friday, it's become apparent the team still needs to learn how to win.
The Sailors led most of Friday's contest, even taking a 33-23 lead right after halftime, before the Bears started to make a comeback.
Rifle had trimmed the lead to 35-33 after three quarters and tied it up at 50 at the end of regulation.
"We have to get more comfortable with a lead because we are a good basketball team," said Steamboat coach John Ameen, whose team started to struggle in the third quarter when Rifle put the press on. "I'm upset we lost, but this game shows we're right there with everyone. We just have to start finishing."
Steamboat is now 5-8 overall and 2-3 in the Western Slope League. The Sailors' three losses in the league have come by a combined 10 points.
"It's learning to win," Ameen said. "It's knowing score, knowing the situations and doing a better job of it."
Colleen King led the Sailors with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Brittany Long added 10 points, and Darcy Hornstein had eight.
It doesn't get any easier for Steamboat. The team plays at 4 p.m. today against league favorite Glenwood Springs before welcoming Moffat County for a 7 p.m. game Tuesday.
Ameen said the team will try to take the positives from Friday's game into today's game.
"They should be proud of the way they played as a team," Ameen said. "It does show us we're right there with teams in our league. We have to build off this and bounce back against a good Glenwood team that we can compete with."