Steamboat boys basketball picks up big win against Palisade

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— The Steamboat Springs High boys basketball team continues to confound.

The team had lost three straight, including to the Western Slope League’s basement dweller in Battle Mountain.

Then the team goes out and does what it did Friday.

Steamboat went to league leading Palisade and came away with a 46-43 win.

Here’s the interesting part. Steamboat didn’t play very well on the offensive end, turning the ball over an unthinkable 36 times.

“I’ve never coached a team that’s had 36 turnovers and come out and won,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. “It goes to show how hard we played on the other end.”

Steamboat trailed, 23-13, at half and looked like it was on its way to its fourth straight loss.

But the team started to play better in the third and had cut the lead to 29-27 at the end of three quarters.

Steamboat’s Carter Kounovsky hit a 3-pointer, and Zach Dunklin hit three in the second half to get Steamboat back in the game.

The Sailors’ Kit Croop also held Palisade’s Kane Gunther — one of the top players in the league — to four points.

“This year it hasn’t been an issue with our effort. We always play hard,” DeWolfe said. “Our guys work as hard as anybody. The goal tonight was to keep it close and give ourselves a chance at the end.”

Jake Miller led the Sailors with 11 points. Croop had 10 and Dunklin added nine.

Steamboat now plays the second place team in the league.

The team plays at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Delta.

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