It’s pretty simple when you think about it.
The Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team decided enough was enough Friday against Palisade and cured an offense that has been inconsistent all year. Steamboat overcame a porous first quarter and a first-half deficit and looked to get over the hump offensively, running away from Palisade, 60-45.
“We just went back to the things we needed to do,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. “We felt like we could get it inside.”
Thanks to a 9-2 run at the end of the second quarter, Steamboat cut Palisade’s halftime lead to 28-25.
That’s when the Sailors started pounding the ball inside and getting to the free-throw line.
Sailors forwards Connor Landusky and Randall Nelson combined to score 20 points — 12 in the third quarter — and grab 21 rebounds in the game.
The two spurred Steamboat to a 41-36 lead after three quarters.
“It feels good,” said Landusky, who scored 8 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. “We’re a completely different team when Randall and I are scoring inside.”
The Sailors, 11-6 overall and 8-1 in the Western Slope League, hit 20 of 25 free throws in the game, including 10 of 11 in the fourth quarter, to seal the win.
Steamboat was without point guard Isiah Forsyth, who was out with an ankle injury. Backcourt mate Charles Wood more than made up for it, scoring a game-high 21 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.
Nelson chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds, and Jack Spady scored 10 points and held Palisade’s Jeremy Hayden to 9 points.
In the two teams’ previous meeting, Hayden scored 29 points.
Steamboat next plays at 5:30 p.m. today at home against Delta.
“Our guys got some confidence,” DeWolfe said. “Our post players got some confidence. Now we realize, too, we can still play well when we’re missing Isiah. We’ll be just that much better when he comes back.”
Turnovers too much for Steamboat girls hoops
Down two starters, the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team never could find any kind of rhythm Friday against Palisade, falling, 35-34.
The Sailors were missing the services of starters Hannah Moore and Matthia Duryea. Moore had an ankle injury, and Duryea was visiting a college.
Without the two, Steamboat (12-5, 7-2) looked lost.
The Sailors committed 25 turnovers and shot just seven of 16 from the free-throw line in the game.
“Our turnovers and execution were very poor,” Steamboat coach John Ameen said. “Granted, we have Hannah out, but when you turn it over and execute poorly, you lose possessions and the possibility of scoring. Even without that one player threat, you can’t throw the ball away. We opened the game like that, and it was consistent throughout.”
The game was tight throughout. Palisade’s biggest lead was 5 points, and Steamboat’s was 2 points.
As much as Steamboat struggled, the Sailors had every chance to win the game.
Emi Birch tied the game at 33 with 3 minutes, 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Tara Spitellie put Steamboat ahead, 34-33, with 2:22 left, but Palisade’s Nicole Routhier made a layup with 1:11 left to put the Bulldogs ahead, 35-34.
Spitellie missed a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left, and Birch missed a 13-footer at the buzzer.
“Really, it shouldn’t have been anything different,” Birch said about being down two starters. “We have a deep bench. It shouldn’t be any different. (Today) we have to come fired up. None of us are happy at all. That was just a bad game.”
Colleen King led the Sailors with 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Birch and Spitellie added 6 apiece, and Lindsey Yost had 5.
Steamboat continues play at 4 p.m. today at home against Delta.