Steamboat Springs High School senior Brandon Yeager puts the squeeze on his opponent Tuesday during a wrestling triangular in Steamboat. Yeager and his teammates will hit the road this weekend for a tournament in Evergreen.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat Springs High School senior Brandon Yeager puts the squeeze on his opponent Tuesday during a wrestling triangular in Steamboat. Yeager and his teammates will hit the road this weekend for a tournament in Evergreen.

High school sports preview for Jan. 16

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Steamboat wrestling

Saturday: Steamboat at Evergreen tournament

The Sailors were good but not good enough Tuesday night in a home triangular, losing to Palisade and Rifle in hotly contested matchups. The road won’t get any easier this weekend at Evergreen, another tournament loaded with good Class 4A and 5A talent, but in a way, that’s good. A big target for this year’s team — especially its three seniors, Connor O’Brien, Brandon Yeager and Cole Sittig — is the regional tournament. The more tested the team and those seniors can be before that big date, the better.

Steamboat boys basketball

7 p.m. Thursday: Steamboat (6-3) at Eagle Valley (4-6)

2 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat vs. Battle Mountain (4-6)

Coming off a decidedly up-and-down weekend, the Sailors will be looking for two wins against opponents with records under .500. Battle Mountain, Saturday’s home opponent, has lost five consecutive games, the past three by an average of 28 points. Eagle Valley, meanwhile, has lost six of eight, one of those wins being a one-point win against Battle Mountain last month. Of course, Steamboat has lost three of its past four, too, so while the weekend is an opportunity for two wins, it’s one that must be seized.

Steamboat girls basketball

5:30 p.m. Thursday: Steamboat (6-3) at Eagle Valley (7-3)

12:30 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat vs. Battle Mountain (3-6)

Injuries have taken a toll on the Sailors, and it showed last weekend as the team lost big on the road at Delta. The team will need to get some of its starters back if it hopes to contend with a hot Eagle Valley team. Battle Mountain, on the other hand, has struggled mightily with its league schedule, losing four in a row.

Steamboat hockey

5:15 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (5-4-1) at Summit (0-7)

3 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat vs. Aspen (3-4-1)

Steamboat rallied to earn a tie against Dakota Ridge, and now, it can ride that momentum into a weekend full of games against mountain rivals. The Sailors should have a leg up Friday as they travel to play Summit, winless in its seven games this season. Aspen has been better, but Steamboat already beat that team once this season, winning on the road, 2-1, in December.

Steamboat Alpine skiing

9 a.m. Friday: Steamboat at Howelsen Hill

It’s time to come home for the Steamboat Springs High School Alpine skiing team. The Sailors will welcome about 100 skiers from across the region Friday morning for slalom racing at Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat. The Sailors, captained by Andreas Fault and Mariah Hoots, have 14 athletes out for the team this year. Finishers in the top 30 percent of Friday’s race will earn their way to the state meet.

Steamboat Nordic skiing

Saturday: Steamboat at Aspen

The Sailors will ski Saturday in the Aspen Duathlon, which will challenge them with 3 kilometers of skate skiing and 3 more of classic skiing. The team kicked off its season last weekend with a pair of races that yielded strong results. Steamboat was so good, in fact, that nine skiers already have qualified for state.

Hayden wrestling

Friday: Hayden at Rangely

Saturday: Hayden at Rangely tournament

The Tigers will wrestle in a triangular Friday night against Rangely and Deushane, then turn around for a tournament in Rangely again the next morning. It will be a big chance for young Tiger athletes to show their stuff against regional opponents and build on their potential seeds for the regional tournament.

Hayden boys basketball

7:45 p.m. Friday: Hayden (1-7) vs. Hotchkiss (6-2)

3:45 p.m. Saturday: Hayden vs. Paonia (4-4)

The Tigers were better after the return of two of their three starting seniors but still were missing a few pieces from the lineup last weekend as they opened play in 2014. They hope to get another starter back this weekend, and the team should look as complete as it has since last season. Whether those pieces are ready to run and gun with some of the Western Slope’s toughest teams is another thing entirely. Hayden appeared to wear down last week in a home game against West Grand. Conditioning for those players who missed so much time should improve as the season plays out, but it’s a lot to ask for it to be there now.

Hayden girls basketball

6:15 p.m. Friday: Hayden (4-4) vs. Hotchkiss (3-4)

2:15 p.m. Saturday: Hayden vs. Paonia (6-3)

The Tigers can be tough, gritty and in your face when they’re playing their best. They can be tentative, hesitant and turnover-prone when they’re not. If they play with the former mindset, it could be an interesting weekend of action for Hayden. If the team plays with the latter mindset, it could be a bumpy road, especially against Paonia, one of the most intense teams on the schedule any given year.

Soroco boys basketball

7 p.m. Friday: Soroco (4-2) at Paonia (4-4)

2:30 p.m. Saturday: Soroco vs. Hotchkiss (6-2)

The Rams might not be the class of the league this year — that much seems evident after a lopsided loss to West Grand last weekend — but the senior-stacked team still hopes to land in the top tier of the Western Slope, and it can take a big step toward that goal this weekend. It won’t be easy. Paonia always is solid and is led this season by high-scoring Josiah Spano, one of four seniors. Hotchkiss is even better, having beaten Paonia, 54-52, in December to kick off a still-alive, four-game winning streak.

Soroco girls basketball

5:30 p.m. Friday: Soroco (6-1) at Paonia (6-3)

4 p.m. Saturday: Soroco vs. Hotchkiss (3-4)

It’s pretty rare that Soroco enters its annual matchup with Paonia with a better record, at least since girls basketball wizard Scott Rienks took over the Eagles program. That’s the case this year, however, as the Rams will head to Paonia to put their high-flying start to the season to the ultimate test. The Eagles have a habit of melting down young teams with their intense full-court press. Are these Rams veteran enough to handle that pressure, limit the turnovers and stay calm, cool and collected on offense? We shall see.

Soroco wrestling

Saturday: Soroco at Lake County tournament

The Rams hit the road Saturday for a tournament in Leadville. With a mix of age and talent, the main goal continues to be to improve for the program, and the wrestlers should have that chance at the (relatively) close-to-home tournament.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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