Steamboat Springs High School junior Randall Nelson puts up a shot during the first half of Saturday’s game against Eagle Valley High School. The Sailors won, 44-31.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School junior Randall Nelson puts up a shot during the first half of Saturday’s game against Eagle Valley High School. The Sailors won, 44-31.

Sailor boys, girls basketball defeat Eagle Valley

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Boys vs. Eagle Valley highlights

Highlights from Saturday's game against Eagle Valley.

Highlights from Saturday's game against Eagle Valley.

Video

Girls vs. Eagle Valley highlights

Highlights from Saturday's game against Eagle Valley.

Highlights from Saturday's game against Eagle Valley.

photo

Steamboat Springs High School senior Emily Birch is fouled while going up for a shot during the first half of Saturday’s game against Eagle Valley High School.

— If there is one thing the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team has found out through the first two games of Western Slope League play, it’s that there is finally a little parity.

A night after squeaking by Battle Mountain, Steamboat — usually the class of the league — put in a workman-like effort Saturday against a pesky Eagle Valley team, walking away with a 44-31 win.

“The league is a much more well-rounded league than it has been,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. “These games, I mean, Battle Mountain was a good team. Eagle Valley played us tough. But we came out with wins when it’s all said and done.”

In a game where neither team could get it going offensively — the Sailors shot 34 percent from the field and the Devils shot 28 percent — it proved to be Steamboat’s aggressiveness that was the difference.

Steamboat, especially in the first half, got to the free-throw line with regularity. The Sailors (5-5 overall, 2-0 in league play) went 12 of 17 from the free-throw line in the first half and 16 of 23 in the game. The Devils, however, finished the game just five of seven from the line.

“Very displeased,” Eagle Val­­ley coach Pat Gabriel said. “We put them on the foul line way too much. Fouls usually occur because of bad positioning, and bad positioning usually occurs because you’re not doing the right thing on defense. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

If not for getting to the line in the first half, Steamboat more than likely would have found itself down. The Sailors’ biggest advantage in the first 16 minutes was seven points at 10-3. But Eagle Valley (3-8, 0-2) and junior Nate Barker kept the Devils around.

Barker scored eight of his team-high 14 points in the first half. Eagle Valley also held Steamboat without a field goal in the second quarter and trailed only 22-17 at the break. The Sailors took a 35-26 lead into the final quarter and started the fourth on a 9-2 run to put the game away.

Barker led the way for the Devils, and Bryce Zehring chipped in seven points. Jack Spa­­dy paced Steamboat with 18 points, Isiah Forsyth had 11 and Char­­les Wood had 10.

“We haven’t had that game yet where we all come together,” DeWolfe said. “That game hasn’t happened yet. Some­times we look good as a team, and other times it’s where we look like five individuals on the court. We’re still finding who we are.”

Steamboat girls earn win against Eagle Valley, 48-30

Eagle Valley girls coach Jamie Mayne ran into her worst fears before Saturday’s game at Steamboat even began.

During halftime of the freshman game, Devils senior point guard Brenda Zapata dislocated her kneecap, leaving Eagle Valley without its floor general.

The result was a sloppy game, where Eagle Valley couldn’t get anything going on a tough Steamboat defense, falling 48-30.

“It hurts us,” Mayne said. “She’s our calmness. She sets our offense up. She executes and is our fire on defense. We struggled to get into offense.”

The numbers show that.

Steamboat (7-3, 2-0) held Eagle Valley to 22 percent shooting from the field and forced 32 turnovers.

The game was still a back-and-forth affair, with the Sailors taking just a 19-13 lead into halftime.

After the two teams traded buckets in the third, Steamboat finally hit its run. In the last two minutes, 12 seconds of the third quarter, the Sailors went on a 9-2 run to push the lead to 33-19.

Then in the fourth quarter, Steamboat hit 10 of 11 free throws to seal the win.

Colleen King paced the Sailors with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Hannah Moore kicked in 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. Jazmine Zapata led Eagle Valley (7-3,0-2) with 14 points and six steals.

“A 2-0 league start is great,” Steamboat coach John Ameen said. “It makes a statement of where we are and the way we want to play. The girls are excited about it.”

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