Sailors' Maggie Crouch looks for her shot in Steamboat's six-point home loss to Delta Saturday afternoon. Crouch led all Steamboat players with 14 points.

Photo by Ben Ingersoll

Sailors' Maggie Crouch looks for her shot in Steamboat's six-point home loss to Delta Saturday afternoon. Crouch led all Steamboat players with 14 points.

Offensive woes once again haunt Sailors girls in loss

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— There’s no secret to what Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball looks for in its formula for success.

2013-14 Sailors girls basketball schedule

  • Dec. 2: Steamboat 46, Grand Junction Central 32 
  • Dec. 6: Brenda Patch Tournament in Roaring Fork: Steamboat 37, Roaring Fork 22
  • Dec. 7: Brenda Patch Tournament in Roaring Fork
  • Dec. 12 to 14: Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out
  • Dec. 20: 1:15 p.m. vs. Glenwood Springs at Pepsi Center
  • Jan. 10: 6 p.m. at Palisade  
  • Jan. 11: 1 p.m. at Delta  
  • Jan. 16: 5:30 p.m. at Eagle Valley  
  • Jan. 18: 12:30 p.m. vs. Battle Mountain
  • Jan. 21: 6 p.m. at Rifle  
  • Jan. 25: 1 p.m. at Glenwood Springs  
  • Jan. 30: 6 p.m. at Summit  
  • Feb. 1: 2 p.m. vs. Rifle  
  • Feb. 7: 6 p.m. vs. Palisade
  • Feb. 8: 2:30 p.m. vs. Delta  
  • Feb. 11: 6 p.m. vs. Summit
  • Feb. 13: 5:30 p.m. at Battle Mountain  
  • Feb. 15: 2 p.m. vs. Eagle Valley

The Sailors want to get the ball inside offensively and be a terror on defense, but only one of those strategies is coming to fruition down the final stretch of the regular season.

Steamboat once again found out how badly offensive miscues and missed opportunities down low can kill momentum in its 42-36 home loss to Delta on Saturday afternoon. It was the Sailors’ eighth league loss and fifth straight this year.

“We just have lapses on the offensive end,” Sailors coach Mack Spitellie said. “We’re not patient and we try to force things that aren’t there. We go too late after it was there, then we try to pass it and it’s not there anymore.”

Maggie Crouch, Steamboat’s primary post threat, scored a team-high 14 points, but it was turnover after turn over and missed shots at the basket that left the first-year coach shaking his head.

Defensively, however, Spitellie said that despite this week’s losses, that end of the floor is coming around in consistent fashion for the first time this season.

“Defense was great again, I thought,” Spitellie said. “Delta is a good team and we played great defense, we held them. We did our job there, we just missed way too many gimmies under the basket. If we had those, that game is totally different.”

Neither team could get much going scoring wise before halftime. A combined 29 first-half turnovers for both Delta and Steamboat had the squads retire to the locker room with the score 13-11 in favor of the Panthers.

Delta pushed its lead to 25-20 heading into the final period, but lackluster execution and clutch free-throw shooting on the Panthers’ side sank the Sailors to 7-9 on the year.

“I don’t mind our killer instinct,” Spitellie said about his team’s inability to put away its last few opponents in the fourth quarter. “I think we have it. Good teams do their job, too. We were there but we let it get extended by fouling to get back into it. We just didn’t execute.”

Outside of Crouch’s double-digit scoring, Amaris Duryea pitched in seven points, Mikaila Jegtvig had six points and Hunter Anderson chipped in five.

Sure, the Sailors may be sliding toward the bottom ranks of their league with just two regular-season contests left and the district tournament right around the corner, but Spitellie said he is proud of his team’s grit.

And when that district tournament does roll around, he thinks Steamboat’s likely low seed might not be so unfavorable, after all.

“Glenwood is the No. 1 team and Palisade is the No. 3-ranked team,” Spitellie said. “After we played them the way we did, I think most teams will look at us and say, ‘I wish we had somebody else to play.’”

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

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