Second-half surge vaults Sailors girls hoops to win No. 1

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— Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball is 1-0 under new coach Mack Spitellie. The Sailors opened their 2013-14 campaign with a 46-32 win at Grand Junction Central Monday night.

Steamboat stormed out to a 10-4 lead after one quarter and held an 18-14 lead at half. The third quarter proved to be the difference. Spitellie said once his Sailors built a 45-22 lead, he emptied the bench to get reserves some playing time.

Turnovers and press defense were key, especially when things got tight before halftime.

“It’s a work in progress, but it’s getting closer,” Spitellie said about his team’s press defense, something he was concerned about a week ago in practice. “This is definitely a good one to build on and learn from.”

Seniors Mikaila Jegtvig and Ashley Spitellie led the team in scoring, and their coach said the girls' defensive presence was a critical factor.

The Sailors have a quick turnaround for their next game, a road contest Friday for the first day of the two-day Brenda Patch Tournament at Roaring Fork.

“We’re going to step up the intensity, so we can keep this going,” Spitellie said.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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