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

Photo by Matt Stensland

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

Sailors basketball, hockey teams hit the road

Basketball squads to face Eagle Valley; hockey takes on Doherty

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— There are certain questions to be answered, but as the Western Slope League basketball schedule officially hits the midway point, there is good news for the boys and girls teams.

As the second half of the league schedule begins today at Eagle Valley, each Steamboat Springs High School team still controls its own destiny.

The girls play at 6 p.m. today with the boys to follow at 7:30 p.m.

If each Sailors team is able to hold its course like the past seven games, each will take home at least a share of a league title.

“If you execute and do what you know and you play how you can, the outcome will be what we want,” said Steamboat girls coach John Ameen, whose team is 11-4 overall and 6-1 in league play.

The Sailors girls’ lone loss came against first-place Rifle. Steamboat beat Eagle Valley, 48-30, earlier this season.

The Sailors play each team in the league twice, once at home and once on the road. Ameen said there were advantages and disadvantages to that. Each team is more familiar with the other after playing once, which Ameen said would benefit this year’s Steamboat team.

“That’s what it is,” he said. “They are starting to understand playing up to your ability all the time is what makes us successful.”

The boys team is in a similar situation. Steamboat, at 9-6 overall and 6-1 in league play, is in second place, a game behind Glenwood Springs.

Steamboat beat Eagle Valley, 44-31, earlier this season. The first part of the season showed that there won’t be an easy game in this league, and Steamboat still is in the midst of defining itself. The one constant has been the Sailors’ defense.

The second half of league play will involve trying to find more tempo and congruency on offense.

“That’s really the key,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. “We can beat anybody in our league, definitely. We have to make sure we’re playing the way we want to play. It’s taking care of the ball and rebounding.”

DeWolfe said he still knows Steamboat will more than likely get the other team’s best shot each night. With that in mind, he still likes where the Sailors are.

“It’s one of those things. They know us, and we know them,” he said. “All the secrets are off the table a little bit. We have to execute and be ready to go into the games.”

Steamboat Springs hockey preps for stretch of games

With the slate as it is, the real run for playoff position begins at 7:15 p.m. Saturday for the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team.

Steamboat will play at Doherty, beginning a final stretch of games that will determine where the Sailors will be seeded for the state playoffs. Currently 8-2-2, Steamboat leads the Peak Conference. Winning would guarantee Steamboat a top three seed in the state playoffs.

Although the Sailors are in first place, they have played fewer games than most other top teams in the conference.

After the Doherty game, Steamboat will play six games in nine days. Only one of those opponents is in the top half of the conference, making Saturday’s showdown with Doherty all the more important.

Doherty, 9-4-2, is battling for a top three spot in the conference. The Spartans are hot, going 5-0-1 in their past six games.

“This is a big game Sat­urday,” Steamboat coach Jeff Ruff said. “Get past Doherty and our next three games are against teams toward the bottom. If we have success on Saturday, the conference title truly is in our sights. If we’re not successful on Saturday, it’s tougher to say we’re where we’d like to be.”

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