Steamboat's Maggie Crouch puts up a shot Thursday in what turned out to be a huge first quarter for the Sailors. Steamboat led 27-6 at one point during that period, setting the stage for a big victory in the opening round of the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out. The Sailors advanced to play Friday in the semifinals.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat's Maggie Crouch puts up a shot Thursday in what turned out to be a huge first quarter for the Sailors. Steamboat led 27-6 at one point during that period, setting the stage for a big victory in the opening round of the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out. The Sailors advanced to play Friday in the semifinals.

Steamboat girls use red-hot 1st quarter to advance in Shoot-Out

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2012-13 Sailors girls basketball schedule

— The signs that the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team was in line to win and advance to the 6:30 p.m. semifinals Friday in the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out were there from the start of the first quarter, when the Sailors built a 10-2 lead.

It was the team’s next spurt, though, that showed how much power this squad might have. Steamboat ran over Montezuma-Cortez on Thursday, winning 61-29 in the first round of the Shoot-Out and setting the stage for Friday’s semifinal against Elizabeth.

The Sailors never looked better than they did in the second half of that first quarter.

There, Steamboat was explosive on offense and diabolical on defense.

After the Panthers briefly threw the idea of a blowout into question, cutting the lead to 12-6, Steamboat roared. Mikaila Jegtvig scored on a jumper and McKenzie Repollo stole a pass and dropped in a layup, making it 16-6. Maggie Crouch sank a pair of free throws, then Jegtvig drained a 3-point shot to make the gap 15. She followed that up with another steal and a layup, and Crouch quickly turned another turnover into yet another layup.

In a flash, the score went from a what’s-going-to-happen 12-6 to a where’s-the-junior-varsity 27-6.

“That felt awesome,” Jegtvig said, spilling over with laughter. “We had really good team chemistry. We were talking really well, and we were excited from the start.”

It may have been about team chemistry, but on Thursday Jegtvig was the ingredient that made the Sailors’ formula reactive.

She led all scorers with 26 points, canning three 3-pointers and making 10 shots all together. She had 13 in the decisive first quarter.

She wasn’t the only Sailors teammate on fire, either. Maggie Crouch had 14 points playing in the paint. Alice Holmquist had eight, and Repollo scored seven.

That Repollo, who scored nearly 19 points in the team’s first two games, could score seven in such a lopsided game says plenty, coach John Ameen said.

“We had an inside-out game going. Maggie was going good inside, and Mikaila was going good outside,” Ameen said. “It’s not going to be too often that no one is going to be on. McKenzie was a little off tonight, but those other girls were on, so that’s the capability of this team”

Ameen said he expects a challenge Friday against Elizabeth, a 47-45 winner against Montrose. He didn’t have much trouble finding issues his girls needed to correct, starting with turnovers and lapses in focus that kept the team from extending its lead much beyond that first-quarter cushion.

“They will be quick and long, and they have size on the inside. It will be a good challenge for us,” he said. “I keep harping on our girls because I know their potential and where they can be."

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

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