Routt County high school sports roundup for Jan. 21

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Steamboat Springs girls basketball (6-6) lost to Eagle Valley, 41-40, and beat Battle Mountain, 53-18

What happened: Steamboat rallied in the second half against Eagle Valley, cutting the gap to one point late in the game. The Sailors couldn’t pull ahead, however. On Saturday, the team had no trouble whatsoever with Battle Mountain. McKenzie Repollo led the way, hitting seven 3-point shots.

What does it mean: A win Friday would have helped distinguish the Sailors in the league, and losing such a close game makes it hurt all the more. Saturday was about taking care of business, and Steamboat did that with style.

What’s next: Steamboat plays Saturday at Glenwood Springs.

Steamboat Springs boys basketball (6-5) lost to Eagle Valley, 37-36, and beat Battle Mountain, 42-41

What happened: The Sailors lost in heartbreaking fashion Friday night, giving up a lead to fall to Eagle Valley. It escaped a similar situation Saturday, however. Again the team gave up a lead, but this time Garrett Bye hit a free throw with 22 seconds remaining to give Steamboat the lead, and the win, it needed.

What does it mean: Steamboat’s propensity to give up second-half leads is troubling, but salvaging Saturday’s game was crucial. Carter Kounovsky scored 14 points and made 11 of 12 free throws to help the team when it needed it the most.

What’s next: Steamboat plays Saturday at Glenwood Springs.

Steamboat alpine ski team competed at Aspen

What happened: Both the boys and the girls won in slalom events at Beaver Creek. Suzanne Lyon won the race on the girls side, while Peter White was second and Andreas Foulk third for the boys.

What does it mean: News flash — Steamboat is good at skiing. The Sailors demonstrated as much again at Beaver Creek. It was Lyon’s second win in as many events, and the third straight for the girls team as a whole. The boys, meanwhile, won for the second time in three events.

What’s next: Steamboat races Friday at Aspen in a giant slalom.

Steamboat Springs hockey (6-5-1) beat Battle Mountain, 2-1, and Kent Denver, 6-3

What happened: The Sailors made it three straight wins by sweeping a pair of weekend games. Dillon Chapman scored in the third period to break a tie and knock off Battle Mountain. On Saturday, the team had five different players score goals in a 6-3 win.

What does it mean: It’s been a decidedly up and down season for Steamboat, and the Sailors currently are on an up. They beat two of the division’s lesser teams during the weekend, but they were important wins nonetheless. Winning the next game could say a lot more about the squad's status as an elite contender. Friday's opponent, Mullen, sits right below Steamboat in the league standings.

What’s next: Steamboat plays Friday at Mullen.

Hayden boys basketball (8-2) beat Hotchkiss, 58-45, and Paonia, 67-66

What happened: The Tigers cruised by Hotchkiss but found a fight against Paonia. It took a great game by Mark Doolin, who had 31 points and 11 rebounds, and a baseline jumper from Isaac Bridges with 2 seconds remaining to get the win.

What does it mean: Coach Mike Luppes said he had circled last weekend as an important one, so getting out of it 2-0 is good news for the Tigers. Hayden took Paonia’s best shot and survived. As one of the league favorites, the Tigers can expect to have a target on their back the remainder of the season.

What’s next: Hayden plays at home Friday against Vail Christian.

Hayden girls basketball (1-9) lost to Hotchkiss, 56-19, and Paonia, 59-18

What happened: The Tigers struggled to take steps forward throughout the weekend as they lost lopsided games to Hotchkiss and Paonia.

What does it mean: It’s tough to try to make progress against two of the league's best teams. Hayden can take away a couple of positives, including a strong first half of basketball against Paonia.

What’s next: Hayden travels to play at Soroco on Thursday.

Soroco girls basketball (6-3) beat Denver, 43-31, lost to Paonia, 74-36, and lost to Hotchkiss, 62-36.

What happened: Soroco blasted the Denver Eagles on Tuesday but wasn’t competitive Friday and Saturday against two of the state’s better teams.

What does it mean: The good news for the Rams is that the weekend is over. As good as the team has been, it was a bit much to expect them to be ready to compete with a team like Paonia, which cranks out state-tournament qualifiers like a factory. They key thing for Soroco will be to pull the positives from those two games and maintain confidence heading into the bulk of the league schedule.

What’s next: Soroco plays at home Thursday against Hayden.

Soroco boys basketball (5-5) beat Denver, 72-26, beat Paonia, 71-70, and lost to Hotchkiss, 63-56

What happened: Soroco crushed a weak Denver Eagles team Tuesday, then lost in a close game on the road Saturday at Hotchkiss. On Friday, however, the Rams really turned heads with a thrilling win against Paonia. Matt Regan hit a 3-point shot with 3 seconds remaining to give the Rams a 71-70 victory.

What does it mean: Soroco hasn’t been competitive in the Western Slope League for several seasons, but Friday’s win was evidence that although they may not win the league, they will make noise within it. What’s not to like? They have a powerful presence in the post with Ryan Jeep, who averaged about 19 points a game this weekend, and talented, experienced upperclassman guards in Nic Paxton, Matt Regan and AJ Anderson. Team chemistry also seems to be much better than it was in recent seasons.

What’s next: Soroco plays at home Friday against Vail Mountain.

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