Steamboat girls hoops scrap their way to first home win

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— In the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball’s loss to Green River in the opening round of the Steamboat Shoot-Out, Sailors coach Mack Spitellie called his team “the queens of standing around.”

In 24 hours, Steamboat turned into the queens of comeback.

On a night where offense was at a premium for both squads, the Sailors overcame a six-point, fourth-quarter deficit to steal their first home win of the 2013-14 season, beating Discovery Canyon, 30-27.

Playing on an injured leg late in the game, senior Mikaila Jegtvig closed out Discovery Canyon from the free-throw line, nailing a pair of shots in the game’s waning moments. And rebounding from an ice-cold shooting night on Thursday, senior Maggie Crouch led all Sailors with nine points.

“We just really didn’t want to lose again,” Crouch said. “We were pissed about last night, and we just weren’t going to lose.”

Steamboat and Discovery Canyon were deadlocked at only four points apiece after one quarter, and the Sailors held a 12-10 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.

Spitellie’s team mustered just three third-quarter points, trailing 21-15, heading into the final period when something clicked, much like the previous night’s late rally that fell short.

Jegtvig (eight points) and Crouch combined to score 17 of the Sailors’ 30 points, while Maddie Robertson pitched in three and Amaris Duryea had five of her own.

When the offense wasn’t exactly pumping on all cylinders, Spitellie said an extremely improved defense pushed Steamboat to 4-1 heading into tomorrow’s final round of the Steamboat Shoot-Out.

“Last night, the fourth-quarter offense just came together, and this game, our offense never showed up,” Spitellie said. “But we played great defense tonight. I’ll give that to the girls. They didn’t stand. They played hard.”

Spitellie admitted his Sailors may have been plagued by nerves Thursday night in their home-opener, but a scrappy effort Friday got his team back on the winning track.

“We just missed shots last night, and I guess we made a few tonight,” Spitellie said. “We made enough. It would be better to hit more. If we could start finishing around the rim, it would be a big help for us.”

The win landed Steamboat a date in the third-place game Saturday afternoon against Montrose, which was trounced by Elizabeth Friday night.

Crouch said after two hapless offensive outputs in the opening two rounds, she guarantees the shots will fall soon, maybe even Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

The Sailors may need it.

“Montrose has been tough for 40 years,” Spitellie said. “They have been solid on the Western Slope for a long time.”

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

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