Steamboat boys basketball vs. Rifle
Led by Brody King's 10 points, the Sailors boys basketball team played tough defense against a physical Rifle team. Steamboat won, 35-33.
2012-13 Sailors boys basketball schedule
- Nov. 30: Steamboat 46, Roaring Fork 33
- Dec. 1: Steamboat 51, Basalt 27
- Dec. 6: Steamboat 50, Montezuma-Cortez 26 at Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out
- Dec. 7: D’Evelyn 74, Steamboat 34 at Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out
- Dec. 8: Steamboat 42, Montrose 34 for third at Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out
- Dec. 14: Steamboat 35, Rifle 33
- Dec. 15: Glenwood Springs 47, Steamboat 45
- Dec. 21: Steamboat 56, Summit 47
- Jan. 11: Palisade 41, Steamboat 36
- Jan. 12: Delta 55, Steamboat 48
- Jan. 18: Eagle Valley 37, Steamboat 36
- Jan. 19: Steamboat 42, Battle Mountain 41
- Jan. 26: Glenwood Springs 42, Steamboat 30
- Feb. 1: Steamboat 39, Summit 35
- Feb. 2: Rifle 39, Steamboat 29
- Feb. 8: Steamboat 52, Palisade 40
- Feb. 9: Steamboat 35, Delta 34
- Feb. 15: Battle Mountain 57, Steamboat 56
- Feb. 16: Eagle Valley 43, Steamboat 40
Steamboat Springs The roars said it best. Sure, the crowd that packed into Kelly Meek Gymnasium on Friday night to see the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team cheered when the appropriate team scored, when a big shot fell in from deep and when a player glided in for a layup.
On Friday night, they also roared for defense — big swats from a pair of towering centers eliciting thunderous applause, steals and tight coverage drawing raves.
But Friday’s game wasn’t for SportsCenter. Both teams struggled in the face of withering defensive pressure, but it was Steamboat that managed to land the final and crucial blows. With a solid fourth quarter, the Sailors knocked off Rifle, 35-33.
“That was a defensive struggle, and it’s more physical than we’ve played this year,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. “In a lot of ways, it was a boxing match, and we were standing at the end. We got the shots when we needed them, the stops when we needed them and that gave us the opportunity to win.”
Steamboat’s go-ahead surges late in the game did well to sum up the sluggish pace of the game’s offenses. Basically, the Sailors got what they needed but only when they had to have it.
Rifle rallied to tie the score late in the third quarter at 21, but almost as if it had been waiting for the challenge, Steamboat immediately got hot. Junior Zach Dunklin drained a 3-point shot on the ensuing possession, then Matt Lanning hit a shot for a five-point lead.
When Rifle tied the game again, this time at 28 thanks to a Jake Statler trey, Steamboat’s Garrett Bye took advantage of a foul, sinking a pair of free throws. Lanning again connected for a key bucket, this time rising up for a jumper in the lane, and junior Carter Kounovsky hit two of four free throws for the final padding.
Streaky offense and free throws aren’t exactly a thing of beauty, but it was enough for Steamboat.
“They were tough playing that zone, but we knocked down some shots at the end,” Kounovsky said.
Steamboat was led by Brodie King, who had all 10 of his points in the second quarter. Kounovsky had nine, and Bye scored seven, five from the free-throw line.
Trenton Brown had 10 for Rifle, and Tanner Quick, the center who proved the keystone of the Bears’ defense in the paint, had seven.
Steamboat returns to the court Saturday against Glenwood Springs.
“It’s going to be the same kind of game,” Kounovsky said. “It’s going to be scrappy, tough game.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com