Steamboat girls hoops opens postseason play Tuesday; boys play Thursday

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Steamboat Springs girls basketball (10-9) beat Battle Mountain, 62-12, and Eagle Valley, 52-30

What happened: The Sailors looked good in their final weekend of regular season hoops. They demolished Battle Mountain at home Friday night, then picked up a big win against a solid Eagle Valley squad Saturday, avenging a loss from earlier in the season. Steamboat broke off a 15-1 run in the first half and Nikki Fry finished with 20 points to help facilitate the win.

What does it mean: It’s a good time to be looking good, and the Sailors haven’t looked much better than they did this weekend. Beating Battle Mountain is nothing to crow about, but running it up on 11-8 Eagle Valley is.

What’s next: Steamboat is the No. 6 seed in the district tournament and plays at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Steamboat against Summit, which at 1-18 is the bottom seed in the bracket. The winner advances to play Thursday against No. 3 Rifle.

Steamboat Springs boys basketball (9-10) lost to Battle Mountain, 57-56, and Eagle Valley, 43-40

What happened: A weekend doesn’t get much more heartbreaking than the one Steamboat just finished. It lost Friday in a game it led most of the way when Battle Mountain got a tip-in basket at the buzzer. On Saturday, Steamboat lost in overtime.

What does it mean: A pair of weekend defeats wasn’t enough to push Steamboat into a Tuesday game. The Sailors managed to hold on to the No. 5 seed, meaning they will play Thursday against No. 4 Rifle, which is 11-8 on the season. Steamboat and Rifle split their season series.

What’s next: Steamboat and Rifle play at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Steamboat Springs wrestling competed at regional tournament

What happened: Steamboat came away from the regional wrestling tournament with fifth-place finishes from Dane Koepfer and Cole Sittig and a sixth-place showing from Nathan Parks, meaning the squad didn’t have any wrestlers qualify for state. The top four from each weight division went to state.

What does it mean: It was a rough way to end a season. The Steamboat wrestling squad was revived and vibrant through much of the season, fielding as many wrestlers as it has in recent memory. And all year there were good wrestlers, too. Not qualifying anyone to state — including Parks, who wrestled at state last year — is a stinging conclusion to what otherwise seemed like a great year.

What’s next: The season is over.

Steamboat Springs ski team competed at state in Winter Park

What happened: The girls finished third at the state championships with 598.5 points, behind No. 1 Summit and No. 2 Aspen. Peter White, meanwhile, won the skimeister award and Dane Dixson was third.

What does it mean: The skimeister is a true test of a skier's overall skills, combining both Alpine and Nordic results from the season. Steamboat always seems to show well in those results, and that proved true again this year. Winning is quite an accomplishment for White.

What’s next: The season is over.

Steamboat Springs hockey (7-9-3) tied Summit, 3-3, and lost to Ralston Valley, 2-1

What happened: Steamboat couldn’t hang on to a 2-0 lead against Summit, eventually settling for a 3-3 tie as it got goals from Ben Wharton, Matt Hale and Michael Samuelson. Bobby Elliott scored for Steamboat on Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Ralston Valley.

What does it mean: Steamboat needed a win Friday night to have a shot at the playoffs. It didn’t get it, however, and the season ended Saturday with the loss to Ralston Valley. It was an up-and-down season for the Sailors, and a 2-7-1 road record for Steamboat proved too much to overcome.

What’s next: The season is over.

Hayden boys basketball (15-2) beat Plateau Valley, 74-47, and De Beque, 66-21

What happened: The Tigers had no problem routing both their weekend opponents. Jorge Valdez scored 19 points to lead the way against Plateau Valley while Isaac Bridges had 17 in a win against De Beque.

What does it mean: Hayden’s been on cruise control since a 62-58 win against Meeker earlier this month, winning the last four games in blowout fashion. They’ll get a test again Friday against Soroco, but they figure to have explosive senior guard Paul Laliberte back. He’s been recovering from an injured ankle and is said to be back at 100 percent health.

What’s next: A game Friday against county rival Soroco.

Hayden girls basketball (4-13) beat Plateau Valley, 39-25

What happened: Olivia Zehner scored 15 points as Hayden ran away with the win on the road in the second half.

What does it mean: A winless season seemed possible for the Tigers early in December, but watching the Hayden players gain experience has been a treat and now the squad bears little in common with the one that started the schedule. Friday’s game against Soroco is a great chance to showcase that progress, though it won’t be easy. Soroco has won the previous two matchups this season by a combined 41 points.

What’s next: Hayden welcomes Soroco on Friday night.

Hayden wrestling wrestled at regionals

What happened: The Tigers qualified five wrestlers to the state tournament: Judd Magee at 106 pounds, Tanner Guire at 113, Kent Miller at 132,Taylor Lewis at 160 and Ryan Domson at 182.

What does it mean: There must have been a huge sigh of relief echoing around the tournament from the Hayden coaching staff. Four of the five Tigers placed fourth, meaning they had to fight and claw their way into the state tournament field. Then there was Domson, who showed he hasn’t lost anything after missing the vast majority of the season with a knee injury.

What’s next: The state tournament begins at 3 p.m. Thursday in Denver’s Pepsi Center.

Soroco girls basketball (13-5) beat Plateau Valley, 46-26

What happened: Jessica Rossi scored 15 points and Josie Rossi had 10 to go along with another solid defensive game as the Rams bounced back from a slow first half to win easily.

What does it mean: Soroco keeps on winning, and if it can hold serve against Hayden on Friday, winning for the third time this season in that series, it will have wrapped up a very strong regular season. Either way, the Rams are on track for a top-half finish in the conference. The team, however, offers up convincing evidence that it’s taking one game at a time. “I don’t think about that stuff or the season ending,” senior Josie Rossi said. “This team is like a family and we’re having a lot of fun. I don’t want to think about it being over.”

What’s next: Soroco plays at Hayden on Friday.

Soroco boys basketball (9-9) beat De Beque, 77-34, and Plateau Valley, 59-46

What happened: Matt Regan scored 28 points in an easy win Friday against De Beque and Nic Paxton had 19 Saturday as the Rams beat Plateau Valley.

What does it mean: The Soroco of December’s 0-4 start may have had something to sweat last weekend, but the Soroco that’s gone 9-5 since had no problem. The Rams face a tough task Friday in league-leading Hayden, but head into that game with plenty of confidence.

What’s next: Soroco plays at Hayden on Friday.

Soroco wrestling competed at regionals

What happened: The Rams will send two wrestlers to state. Both Colton Martindale and Cody Constine earned their first trips to the state tournament. Soroco was oh-so-close to sending two more. Dillon Koler and Nate Ragan were both fifth.

What does it mean: It was an up-and-down season for the Soroco wrestling squad. At times it looked like the team could send four or more wrestlers to state. At other times it appeared it wouldn’t have any representatives. Having two qualify and two more come so close shows the team hit a definite high note Saturday.

What’s next: Soroco begins wrestling at state at 3 p.m. Thursday.

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