Steamboat's Carter Kounovsky looks for a way out of D'Evelyn's full-court pressure Friday during the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out. The Sailors didn't have much luck against the high-pressure Jaguars, falling, 93-52.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat's Carter Kounovsky looks for a way out of D'Evelyn's full-court pressure Friday during the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out. The Sailors didn't have much luck against the high-pressure Jaguars, falling, 93-52.

Steamboat boys hoops loses to D'Evelyn in tourney, 93-52

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— The game was long decided, and the Sailors’ hopes of playing in Saturday’s Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out championship game were thoroughly dashed by a D’Evelyn team that proved to be on an entirely different level.

Still, a buzz hung in the air as the final minutes and seconds ticked off the clock of the Jaguars’ 93-52 victory, a win that cast the Sailors into Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. consolation game at Steamboat Springs High School against Montrose.

Even before the result was final, fans were looking forward to Saturday’s 4 p.m. championship game, which will pit D’Evleyn and Windsor, a pair of state-ranked foes who simply dominated the first two days of the Steamboat Shoot-Out, against each other.

“That will be as good as Class 4A basketball gets in the state of Colorado,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said.

D’Evelyn proved Friday night against the tournament-hosting Sailors that they were worth the price of admission for any basketball fan. The Jaguars alternated between full- and half-court trap defenses, and they forced Steamboat into long streams of errant passes.

When it did end up in half-court offensive sets, D’Evelyn was just as spectacular, often quick enough to cut to the basket and usually talented enough to sink 3-point shots made wide open by those drives.

The Jaguars ended up sinking 12 3-point shots.

“Once we got going, we played extremely well. You could feel the energy flow out of the gym,” D’Evelyn coach Tony Pachner said. “Our system, it’s all mathematics to us. We want to drive, kick it out and hit that 3-ball.”

It wasn’t always just the fact that they made so many. They proved to have a knack for making them at the worst time, as far as the Sailors were concerned. A pair of treys helped build a 19-3 first-quarter lead for D’Evelyn, but Steamboat fought back and back-to-back Jake Miller buckets made it 22-13.

D’Evelyn’s Chase Cleary converted a 3-point play to open the game back up, however.

A nice Eric Trousil basket cut the lead to 14 midway through the second quarter, but two Jags drilled 3-point shots. When Steamboat’s Kit Croop answered with one of his own — part of a strong shooting night for the senior guard — D’Evelyn’s Connor Skelton hit another trey, was fouled and made the free throw for a four-point play. His teammate Mat Menard followed that up with yet another 3-point basket, the team’s fourth in a row.

“Their ability to drive and shoot made it really hard to guard them,” Croop said.

D’Evelyn’s Luke Stratman led all scorers with 18 points. Grant Witherspoon had 16 points, and Mat Menard had 13.

All that hot shooting, the often flawless press defense, amounted to Steamboat’s biggest loss of the season so far, but the Sailors were convinced afterward that it was not their worst loss.

While the score got out of hand, they insisted they could take something positive in what they managed to accomplish against one of Class 4A’s best squads.

Miller paced Steamboat with 16, and Croop and Trousil each had 11.

“Against Niwot, we were all spread out and trying to do our own thing,” Croop said, comparing Friday’s 41-point loss to Monday’s 36-point loss at Niwot. “This team here was a monster.

“We learned we have a lot of things to work on but that we do some things well. I like the way our season’s going to go.”

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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