Steamboat Springs Sierra entered Friday night’s Class 4A boys high school basketball playoff game having not lost in that season-ending tournament in two years.
The team kept that momentum up in Colorado Springs against Steamboat Springs High School, ending the Sailors’ season, 55-37.
“The kids played hard,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. “We executed our game plan, and the kids played as hard as they could and left it all on the court, but we just got beat by a better team.”
The Stallions opened up a tight game in the second quarter, pouring in 21 points and allowing Steamboat just 2 to set the halftime score at 28-7.
That stretch was partially keyed by Sierra’s star junior, forward Wesley Gordon. The 6-foot-8 post was a defensive force in the paint, DeWolfe said, but Steamboat limited him to 16 points on the game, nearly 7 below his season average.
The real dagger came from junior guard Calvin Brown, who averaged 10 points a game this season. He exploded for 10 in the second quarter alone and finished with 21.
“That really created some problems for us,” DeWolfe said. “That was a game changer.”
Steamboat was better in the second half. Senior Charles Wood scored 17 points, and classmate Isiah Mendoza-Forsyth added 16 as the pair closed out successful stints with the program. Each started for three years, and Steamboat didn’t miss the playoffs in their four years on the team.
The Sailors, 15-8, played most of the game without injured senior Randall Nelson, who sustained a fracture low in his back during a practice several weeks ago. He managed only a few minutes of court time Friday.
“They were a really athletic team, and not having his rebounding and athleticism really hurt us,” DeWolfe said. “I do have to say how proud I am of our seniors. They had great seasons. It’s really been a great team that’s been a pleasure to be around.”