Steamboat Springs High School senior Jake Miller puts up a shot during Saturday’s game against Montrose.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School senior Jake Miller puts up a shot during Saturday’s game against Montrose.

Steamboat boys basketball falls short at tournament

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Even after a 62-46 loss to Montrose on Saturday to finish fourth in their home tournament, Steamboat boys basketball coach Luke DeWolfe came away from the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out knowing his team is better than it was at the start of the week. 

In the opening game of the season Monday, Steamboat was beat 65-29 by Niwot. In Niwot’s previous game, the team lost 75-56 to Montrose. 

“Overall, if you would have told me when we played Niwot that we could compete with Montrose, I probably would have told you you were crazy,” DeWolfe said. “I didn’t think that would happen. But the amount of growth we’ve had and their dedication to getting better — it’s good to see that shining through.”

For the better part of three quarters Saturday, Steamboat was well within striking distance of Montrose. But the Indians used their overall athleticism and a huge advantage rebounding to keep pushing the lead. 

“That game, it was offensive rebounds,” DeWolfe said. “For every shot we got they took three or four shots. You can’t allow teams to do that. It’s too much of a burden to overcome.”

Steamboat grabbed an early 7-4 lead before Montrose started to take control. The Indians took a 13-11 lead with 1 minute, 44 seconds left in the first quarter and never looked back. It was a 9-0 run in the third quarter that finally put the Sailors away for good.

“For us right now it’s still the turnover factor,” DeWolfe said. “It’s making sure we take care of the ball, especially with pressure. But this was the best night we’ve had dealing with pressure.”

Jake Miller again led the Sailors, this time scoring 15 points. Kit Croop added 12 points and Eric Trousil had seven. 

Steamboat (3-2) next plays at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Aspen. 

“For us, this weekend was nothing but positives,” DeWolfe said. “Granted, we don’t like to lose games, but at this point in the year, it’s all about getting better.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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