Steamboat Springs’ Maggie Crouch tries to hold off assistant girls coach Mack Spitellie as he attempts to swat away a low-post entry pass from Katie Lettunich on Wednesday. The team was preparing for the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out, which starts today.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat Springs’ Maggie Crouch tries to hold off assistant girls coach Mack Spitellie as he attempts to swat away a low-post entry pass from Katie Lettunich on Wednesday. The team was preparing for the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out, which starts today.

Steamboat’s Shoot-Out basketball tourney starts today at high school

Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out boasts loaded brackets

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Shoot-Out bracket

■ Boys

Montrose vs. Moffat County, 3 p.m. (New gym)

Windsor vs. Castle View, 4:45 p.m. (Auxiliary gym)

Steamboat vs. Palmer Ridge, 6:30 p.m. (N)

Green River vs. D’Evelyn, 8:15 p.m. (A)

■ Girls

Montrose vs. Moffat County, 3 p.m. (A)

D’Evelyn vs. Castle View, 4:45 p.m. (N)

Green River vs. Fossil Ridge, 6:30 p.m. (A)

Steamboat vs. Windsor, 8:15 p.m. (N)

2010-11 Sailors girls basketball schedule

2010-11 Sailors boys basketball schedule

— Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball coach Luke DeWolfe knows two things about the Sailors’ first-round opponent in the annual Steam­boat Springs Shoot-Out: Pal­­mer Ridge is a school of about 1,200 students, and it’s located in Monument.

“Besides that,” DeWolfe said Wed­­nesday, “we’ll see what they bring.”

That unfamiliarity is part of the beauty of pre-holiday tournaments such as the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out, which brings together eight boys teams and eight girls teams from across the state for three days of basketball.

The Steamboat boys (2-1) open at 6:30 p.m. today against Palmer Ridge, while the girls (2-0) play at 8:15 p.m. against Windsor.

The tournament tips off at 3 p.m. today and runs through Satur­­day. All games are at Steam­­boat Springs High School.

“Everybody, for the most part, is on even ground,” DeWolfe said. “It’s throwing up the ball and playing. It’s going out and teams having fun, learning and getting better. At the end, then you see where you’re at.”

The tournament usually draws some of the top teams from across the state. This year’s lineup includes two top-10 teams.

On the girls side, Montrose checks in at No. 10. On the boys side, Windsor is No. 9 in The Denver Post poll.

“It’s a really strong tournament,” DeWolfe said. “There is definitely no pushovers in the whole bracket. It’s a good representation of 4A in the state of Colorado.”

For the Sailors boys, the tournament will be about stepping up in competition after playing a pair of Class 3A teams in the Brenda Patch Tournament last weekend.

“Our goal, first and foremost, is to play well on both ends of the court,” DeWolfe said. “If we do that, we have as good a shot as anybody to win it.”

For the Sailors girls, who come off two blowout wins at the Brenda Patch Tournament, the Shoot-Out will be much of the same.

The girls bracket might be more loaded than the boys, and coach John Ameen said he thinks he has a team that can compete with any of them.

He said the tournament should give his team perspective on what opponents outside of the Western Slope League are like.

“People look at the teams coming up, I don’t know what the consensus is, but we can compete and win against any of the teams that are here,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy; it’s going to be a challenge. But going from game one to two to three is going to really help us out later on.”

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