Steamboat Springs Momentum.
That’s what Steamboat Springs boys basketball coach Luke DeWolfe hopes his team walked off the court with after a 66-44 victory against Summit County on Tuesday night in Frisco.
The Sailors jumped out to a 16-10 lead after the first quarter and doubled up on the Tigers in the second quarter to take a 20-point lead into the half. Steamboat was up 58-28 before backing off in the final minutes of play.
Garrett Bye netted 18 points and collected seven rebounds as the Sailors rolled to the team’s 10th victory of the season. Bye got help from Carter Kounovsky, who scored 12 points in the game, and Nathan DePuy, who had six rebounds.
Steamboat is 10-5 overall and 5-4 in the conference. The Sailors will play five games in the next two weeks that could determine the team’s postseason outlook.
“There is still a lot of basketball to be played this season,” DeWolfe said.
The coach expects the league to start shaking out in the next few games, and he thinks the Sailors are in a good position as the team heads into an important stretch. The top five teams from the Western Slope and top two from the Southwestern conferences will earn berths to the district playoffs. The top-ranked team, outside of the ones that already have qualified, will earn a wild-card berth.
The team will host Palisade at 7 p.m. Friday and then take on Delta at 4 p.m. Saturday. Palisade is in a tie for first place in the conference, and Delta is ranked third. Steamboat beat Palisade earlier this season and lost a close contest with Delta. However, DeWolfe expects both games to test his team.
“Both teams are going to be better, “ DeWolfe said. “It will be a good chance to see what kind of momentum we are carrying into this stretch of the season.”
The coach hopes for a solid showing in this weekend’s home stand before the final stretch of the season, when the Sailors will face three teams they already have beaten this year, including games against Summit on Tuesday at home and Battle Mountain on the road.
The regular season will end Feb. 15 at home against Eagle Valley.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966