Sailors boys avoid district tourney exit with win

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— The things Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball couldn’t do in its first-round upset loss Thursday night to Palisade, the Sailors figured out Friday night to keep their district tournament play alive.

Steamboat turned a 28-28 halftime tie against Montezuma-Cortez into a 15-point win in the second half, downing its district foe, 60-45, to advance to Saturday's fifth-place game.

“Yesterday I think we allowed that team to do things and dictate the tempo,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said. “Their defensive intensity changed the whole dynamic of the game, and we didn’t respond well. Today it was tight again, and both teams were playing hard, but the (difference) was our defense dictated the tempo a lot more. We got more quality shots and looks.”

Led by senior Carter Kounovsky’s 18 points and Robi Powers’ huge night off the bench with 17 points, the Sailors both stayed alive in the district tourney and qualified for the state tournament.

Matthew Lanning added seven points for the Sailors, Zach Dunklin had six and Jordan Frye pitched in five.

“It shows the character of our team,” DeWolfe said about his team’s ability to bounce back from Thursday’s loss.

“We talked about that before the game started. These situations show what your character is.”

Steamboat will play Delta at 11:30 a.m. Saturday for fifth place. The Sailors split their season series with the Panthers.

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