Routt County high school sports: A look back at the weekend that was

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Steamboat Springs girls basketball (4-3) lost to Rifle, 44-29, and Glenwood Springs, 46-39

What happened: Steamboat trailed Glenwood by two points with less than a minute remaining but couldn’t get offense when it needed it the most. The Sailors were even less consistent on offense Friday against Rifle. Rebounding also proved a problem, especially against Glenwood, which used its edge in that category to hold off the Sailors.

What does it mean: The Sailors missed an opportunity to capitalize on a strong performance in the Steamboat Shoot-Out with its two losses this week. Rifle was fifth in that same tournament, where the Sailors finished third. Glenwood, meanwhile, entered the game against Steamboat on a roll, but the Sailors proved they could go toe to toe with the Demons. If the Shoot-Out showed these Sailors are capable of a good season, this week showed they still have work to do to realize that potential.

What’s next: Steamboat plays at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Summit.

Steamboat Springs boys basketball (5-2) beat Rifle, 35-33, lost to Glenwood Springs, 47-45

What happened: Steamboat won a defensive battle Friday night, severely limiting Rifle and overcoming the Bears’ own powerful defense to get the win. Steamboat was on the other side of things Saturday, trailing in a close, gritty game. Despite frequently being within one score of the Demons, Steamboat couldn’t catch up.

What does it mean: Friday’s contest was a game a team like Steamboat needs to win. Unfortunately for the Sailors, so was Saturday’s. The team showed a lot of toughness Friday against a solid Rifle team, but it got out-toughed Saturday. With such a young squad, that doesn’t come as a complete surprise.

What’s next: The Sailors play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Summit.

Steamboat Springs wrestling lost a dual against Summit, competed at West Grand tournament.

What happened: Steamboat won two of five contested matches against Rifle, but lost the match by a tiebreaker, 34-33. The Sailors picked up two championships at a Saturday meet in Kremmling, from Nathan Parks and Brandon Yeager.

What does it mean: The week was a bit of a letdown after Steamboat won a tournament at Soroco the week prior, but there’s still plenty to like, including what could be a breakthrough performance by Yeager. Parks, meanwhile, won his second consecutive tournament and appears on track for a special season.

What’s next: The team is finished until the calendar turns to 2013.

Steamboat Springs Nordic ski team competed at Minturn

What happened: The girls finished fourth at the Minturn race while the boys were sixth. Gabriel Bohlmann was the top finisher for the girls, coming in 13th. Peter White was tops for the boys, in 27th.

What does it mean: The Sailors qualified seven athletes to the state meet in their first competition of the season.

What’s next: The team returns to action Jan. 12 in Steamboat Springs.

Steamboat Springs hockey (3-0) beat Aspen, 4-3

What happened: The Sailors secured the King of the Mountain Cup by finishing off a sweep of Battle Mountain, Summit and Aspen. It wasn’t easy, at least in the final matchup this week. Aspen threatened to tie the game late, but goalie Jesse Draper was great in the net to help secure the victory.

What does it mean: Steamboat shifted goalies early this season, but it hasn’t been because of losses. That experience will surely help down the road. Penalties helped keep Aspen in Saturday’s game. Those mistakes have crippled previous Steamboat teams, so the squad should be careful to prevent them from giving away any games.

What’s next: Steamboat closes 2012 with two homes games, at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Chatwood and at 3 p.m. Saturday against Resurrection Christian.

Hayden boys basketball (4-2) beat Encampment, 62-47, lost to Little Snake River, 56-54

What happened: Hayden was up and down, and up and, finally, down in a thrilling loss Saturday to Little Snake River. The game hinged on the last call of the game, a whistle in the lane that gave the Rattlers a basket and a foul shot. They converted to take a two-point lead with 3 seconds remaining, erasing a solid fourth quarter by the Tigers.

What does it mean: The Tigers have now lost twice this season. They had to accept after the first loss, to Class 4A heavyweight D’Evelyn, that they couldn’t likely win the 4A state championship, and after falling Saturday to Little Snake River, the Wyoming state title may be out as well. Despite those setbacks, Hayden got off to a great start to the season and it’s proven that it has the horsepower to compete for the only state championship that it actually can win, Colorado’s Class 2A title.

What’s next: Hayden is done with 2012 and won’t play again until Jan. 11 in Kremmling.

Hayden girls basketball (1-5) beat Encampment, 39-34, lost to Little Snake River, 68-26

What happened: The Hayden girls picked up their first win Friday night, knocking off Encampment at home. The Tigers led most of the way and survived a late push. Kara Cozzens and Savannah Williams each scored 12 points. The Tigers couldn’t carry that momentum into Saturday, when they lost in lopsided fashion at Little Snake River.

What does it mean: A win this weekend was important to the Tigers, who have really struggled early this season. Seeing a pair of players break into double digits in that game is also good news for the squad, which has a tough time scoring points. The team has a long way to go, but there were real signs of progress this weekend.

What’s next: The Tigers play at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Meeker.

Hayden wrestling at West Grand tournament

What happened: Hayden had five athletes place at the tournament in Kremmling. Tanner Guire, Taylor Lewis and Journey Vreeman were all fourth. Trent Gable, stuck on the junior varsity team until last week, placed third, while senior T-Lane Mazzola was second.

What does it mean: The Tigers were eager to welcome Mazzola back to the mats after he missed the season’s initial meets with an injury. He didn’t win Saturday, but coach Chad Jones saluted Mazzola’s leadership. Elsewhere, the team’s success is a strong indication the wrestlers are learning quickly.

What’s next: The Tigers won’t wrestle again until January.

Soroco girls basketball (5-1) beat North Park, 39-29, and beat Beth Eden, 64-48

What happened: The Rams looked good in a pair of wins. Briana Peterson led the team Tuesday against North Park, scoring 13 points. Jessica Rossi, meanwhile, had 18 to lead the charge against Beth Eden.

What does it mean: The Soroco girls have been the surprise of the season, so far. The girls have done a great job stepping into new roles on the team, and even filling in when teammates are having an off night. Here’s a telling stat: there were six double-digit scorers for the Rams in two games this week. Of those six instances, five came from different players. That depth and talent will be important in January.

What’s next: Soroco plays at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at home against Vail Christian.

Soroco boys basketball (1-4) beat North Park, 63-51

What happened: Ryan Jeep had 20 points and Nic Paxton 19 as Soroco picked up its first win of the season, playing at North Park. The team had its best night of the season shooting, and that made a huge difference.

What does it mean: It all finally came together for the Soroco boys, and that was true in more ways than one. The team has been missing at least one starter in every game this season, and it was missing two in the stretch leading up to Friday’s win. Finally, all the Rams were there, and the difference showed up on the scoreboard. Even the players who have been in the lineup consistently played better. Paxton, one of the team’s most experienced athletes, had his best night of the season.

What’s next: The boys are off until a Jan. 11 game at Vail Mountain.

Soroco wrestling at West Grand tournament

What happened: Soroco found mixed results in West Grand. Shad Covalt placed fourth at 97 pounds. His teammates, meanwhile, had uneven records. Colton Martindale was the best of the rest at 3-2.

What does it mean: The Rams were missing about half their team Saturday thanks to sickness and injuries, so it’s not fair to draw any large lessons from the results. Several Soroco wrestlers have pieced together good tournaments so far, so there’s a lot to look forward to after the break.

What’s next: The Rams are finished until 2013.

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