Steamboat Springs High School junior Tara Spitellie puts up a shot during Tuesday’s game against Moffat County High School.  The Sailors won, 45-34.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School junior Tara Spitellie puts up a shot during Tuesday’s game against Moffat County High School. The Sailors won, 45-34.

Sailors girls, boys teams down Bulldogs

Steamboat girls top rival after years of challenges

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Steamboat girls vs. Moffat County

Highlights from Tuesday's game against Moffat County. The lady Sailors won 45-34.

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Steamboat boys vs. Moffat County

Highlights from Tuesday's game against Moffat County. Steamboat won 49-39.

Highlights from Tuesday's game against Moffat County. Steamboat won 49-39.

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Steamboat Springs High School senior Jack Spady takes a shot during Tuesday night's game against Moffat County.

During Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball coach John Ameen’s four-year tenure, Steamboat has lost in almost every conceivable way to rival Moffat County.

The Sailors have been blown out, lost late leads and could never seem to get over the proverbial hump that was the Bulldogs.

That, however, all changed Tuesday.

Steamboat, behind its defense and key 3-point shooting, downed Moffat Co­­­unty, 45-34, to remain in second place in the Western Slope League, just a game behind Rifle.

“This feels good,” Ameen said. “In the grand scheme of things, this year we want to keep up with the league, win and control our own destiny. It’s been a while since we’ve beaten them. But at the same time, it’s been a while since we’ve beat a lot of teams in our league.”

After Steamboat (11-4 overall, 6-1 in league) jumped out to an 8-7 first-quarter lead, it looked like it would be the same story.

Moffat started the second quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 14-8 lead. But the Sailors hung around and finished the quarter on a tear. It started with a Colleen King bucket at the 3 minute, 10 second mark of the quarter and continued.

Hannah Moore hit a deep 3-pointer to cut the lead to 16-15, before Tara Spitellie drained two 3’s in the last 1:11 of the quarter to send Steamboat to the break up 21-16.

“They’re players now,” Ameen said. “They want to make plays. That’s the gist of it.”

Moffat (6-9, 4-2) tied the game at 25 with 5:37 left in the fourth quarter, before Spitellie and Moore again answered.

The Sailors were without King for most of the third and fourth quarters because of foul trouble.

But Spitellie hit back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the lead to 31-25 with 4:34 in the game. Moffat stayed within striking distance, before Moore hit her second 3 of the game at the 2:16 mark to push Steamboat ahead, 40-32.

“It feels really good,” said Spitellie, who had a game-high 14 points. “Much better than the other ones. It was just a full game for everybody. We wanted that game. I just wanted those shots and wanted to win. I was willing to do anything.”

Moore chipped in 11 points, and King had 9. Annie Sadvar led the Bulldogs with 12 points.

Steamboat next plays at 6 p.m. Friday at Eagle Valley. 

Sailors boys basketball team holds on for ugly win

In a rivalry game begging to be taken over, Steamboat Springs High School junior Charles Wood had seen enough after a ruthless third quarter.

Wood scored 10 of his game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter, as Steamboat weathered an ugly offensive performance Tuesday to hold off Moffat County, 49-39.

“That was probably the worst quarter I’ve ever seen,” Wood, who also had nine rebounds and four assists, said about the third quarter. “But our defense was amazing. Without that, we would have probably lost the game.”

The third quarter was the opposite of Picasso. It was kindergarten art without the cuteness. The two teams combined to shoot 2 of 20 from the field and committed 16 turnovers.

The Sailors (9-6, 6-1), though, outscored the Bulldogs 4-2 in the quarter, and neither team got on the scoreboard in the third quarter until just 53 seconds remained.

Still, Steamboat took a 28-22 lead into the final quarter, before Wood took over.

With the game at 32-26, Wood hit a 3-pointer on one possession before he scored a basket and got fouled on the next possession. His free throw at the 6:06 mark gave Steamboat as 38-26 lead. With the way the Sailors were playing defense, it was too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.

In addition to Wood, fellow junior Justin Anderson was pivotal in the third quarter and entire game. Anderson held Moffat’s best shooter — Dylon Camilletti — to 4 points, all of which came in the fourth quarter.

“There was just no flow or consistency in our offense,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. “It was hard to get anything going. Ours was just turning the ball over. We had some glimmers in the first and fourth quarter.”

Those glimmers proved to be enough. Steamboat blazed out to a 22-9 lead with 4:08 in the second quarter, before that consistency disappeared.

Moffat (3-12, 1-5) finished the quarter on an 11-2 run to cut the lead to 24-20.

“But eventually, the opportunity presented itself,” DeWolfe said. “Guys stepped up and got some baskets when we really needed them. Our defense played really well. There were some big possessions there.”

Anderson chipped in 9 points including two 3-pointers. Jack Spady added 8 points. Jordon Wilson led Moffat with 12 points.

Steamboat next plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eagle Valley.

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