Steamboat center Garrett Bye looks for his shot in the second quarter of Saturday's win against Battle Mountain.

Photo by Ben Ingersoll

Steamboat center Garrett Bye looks for his shot in the second quarter of Saturday's win against Battle Mountain.

Steamboat boys basketball fends off pesky Huskies

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— Twenty minutes passed by before a single Sailors boys basketball player emerged from the locker room following Steamboat’s 53-42 win against Battle Mountain on Saturday.

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Sailors' guard Matthew Lanning fends off a swarm of Huskies in the third quarter of Steamboat's 53-42 win against Battle Mountain on Saturday.

When players and coaches finally did start filing out, they didn’t sport huge smiles or pump their fists. Sailors center Garrett Bye told a small group of students it wasn’t a “happy talk” behind the doors.

Sure, Steamboat rolled to the 11-point win, holding on to a double-digit lead for almost the entire contest. But the 8-3 Sailors demand perfection this year, or something pretty close to it.

“We didn’t play the best game,” senior guard Carter Kounovsky said. “We should have played better. Just because we won, we’re not going to be hooting and hollering in there. We hold ourselves to higher standards than we played today.”

Kounovsky — the Sailors season-leading scorer — again played solid with 14 points and three boards. Point guard Brody King scored nine, Matthew Lanning had eight points and eight rebounds and Robi Powers chipped in seven on the scoreboard.

But what really irked the Sailors to the point of a non-celebration was how pesky the Huskies were all night. Steamboat raced out to a 15-8 first-quarter lead and held onto a 29-21 margin at half.

But the Huskies just never went away, especially Jerry Carrazco, whose hot 3-point shooting netted him a game-high 17 points and made things somewhat interesting down the stretch.

“Give them credit, they made shots,” Kounovsky said. “But it’s nice to get these two wins. It’s good to get back on track and winning.”

But Carrazco did most of the work and it wasn’t quite enough as the Huskies slipped to 0-6 in league play.

Hooting and hollering aside, Steamboat did improve to 8-3 and 3-2 in the Western Slope League. The Sailors enjoyed a 20-point win at Eagle Valley on Thursday, but the team still had memories of a one-point heartbreaking loss to Delta on Jan. 11.

It’s those type of games, the close losses and big wins, that Kounovsky said has made the team become hungrier this go-around.

“We’re all returning and more experienced this year,” Kounovsky said. “We’ve all been in those games. We’d come into those games and lose them last year. Now we come into them and it’s different.”

The Sailors next will hit the road Tuesday at league-leading Rifle at 7:30 p.m.

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

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