Steamboat’s Thomas Tarcha looks to dump the ball Friday during the Sailors 8-5 win against Battle Mountain.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat’s Thomas Tarcha looks to dump the ball Friday during the Sailors 8-5 win against Battle Mountain.

Steamboat boys lacrosse surges past Battle Mountain

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Battle Mountain’s Sawyer Bluhm tries to poke at Steamboat’s Ben Wharton on Friday in Steamboat Springs. The Sailors won the lacrosse game, 8-5.

— Two things became clear Friday when the Steamboat Springs and Battle Mountain boys lacrosse teams wrapped up play.

The distinct edge Steamboat held in the Mountain League is shrinking, but on the heels of a third-quarter surge and an 8-5 win, the Sailors still are sitting in their own echelon in the league. 

“It’s a big disappointment,” Battle Mountain coach Jerry Nichols said. “We are very disappointed we lost this game. We felt like we had a chance.”

And the Huskies did.

On a windy day on Gardner Field, Battle Mountain (7-4 overall, 7-2 in league play) frustrated Steamboat early.

After a scoreless first quarter, Ben Wharton found Wilber Ranieri in front for a 1-0 Steamboat lead.

But Battle Mountain’s Chris Libertini found himself open in front and tied it up at 1.

The goal seemed to give the Huskies a surge of momentum. Reeve Sanders found Timmy Licciardi for a 2-1 lead. Sanders added another to make it 3-1, before Wharton found Peter White to cut the lead to 3-2 at half.

“It’s not comfortable when you’re down,” Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said, “but we’re still a quality lacrosse team. We’ve shown the ability to put together a good effort for an entire game.”

That was something the Huskies couldn’t do. Steamboat opened the third quarter with five unanswered goals — two each from Wharton and Lance Ostrom and one from Christian Ramirez — to go from one down to a 7-3 lead.

“We just turned it on,” said Wharton, who finished with three assists and two goals. “We knew we had to.”

Steamboat’s Kai Rogers scored early in the fourth quarter to make it 8-3 before Cooper Perkins and Christian Nichols added goals late in the fourth for Battle Mountain.

“We did it all but the third quarter,” said Jerry Nichols, whose team lost to Steamboat, 15-1, two years ago and 9-2 last year. “Unfortunately for us, lacrosse is four quarters.”

Battle Mountain next plays Tuesday at Eagle Valley.

Steamboat (11-1, 8-0) plays at 3 p.m. Saturday at Grandview.

“What we’re looking for now is we’re not only playing for a league championship but for seeding,” Hiester said. “Once we got past Rock Canyon (March 13), we said we could be in position to win this thing out. We’re headed in that direction, but we’ll see.”

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

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