Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball is off to a 1-0 start on the season, but Monday night’s win over Grand Junction Central certainly wasn’t handed to the Sailors.
The Sailors trailed 29-21 at halftime but cut into the Warriors’ lead going into the fourth quarter, still down 38-36. With under two minutes left in the game, senior Carter Kounovsky nailed a 3-pointer to give Steamboat a 49-47 lead — its first of the game and one they wouldn’t relinquish on the way to a 56-50 season-opening win.
“We just stayed the course," Sailors coach Luke DeWolfe said. "Our kids never really got rattled. I think we just had the mentality that if we started hitting shots and getting stops on defense, especially not allowing them to shoot threes like we did in the first half, we thought we had a good shot to get back in it.”
Kounovsky led the Sailors with 13 points, followed by 12 points each from Zach Dunklin and point guard Brody King.
The Sailors were challenged on the perimeter, giving up 10 first-half points to Grand Junction Central freshman Kyle Blair. Warriors big man Trey Fair had a game-high 17 points, many coming from beyond the arc, pulling Steamboat center Garrett Bye away from the post on defense.
Blair didn't score another point in the second half, and Steamboat was able to stymie Fair's hot hand just enough to get the win.
“It's always tough going into these early-season games because you don't have a chance to scout teams," DeWolfe said. "You're going by what you know from last year and feeling it out as you go.”
Steamboat will have a few days off before taking the court again at the Brenda Patch Tournament in Roaring Fork on Friday and Saturday.
To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll