High school sports preview for Jan. 23

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Steamboat girls basketball

Saturday: Steamboat, 7-5, at Glenwood Springs, 11-0, 1 p.m.

Saturday’s game against Glenwood Springs will make for a tough task for the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team, especially as it deals with injuries and a lack of offensive production. The 18 points the team scored Tuesday night against Rifle were a season low by a large margin. It will be tough to make progress against Glenwood, which won, 57-25, when the two teams met in December, but that’s the job the Sailors are presented with.

Steamboat boys basketball

Saturday: Steamboat, 9-3, at Glenwood Springs, 9-3, 2:30 p.m.

Glenwood simply outclassed Steamboat when the teams met a month ago in Denver, winning 56-40. Now the Sailors are hoping something has changed as they travel Saturday to play the Demons on their home turf. Steamboat has won four of five games since that loss, all four of those wins by more than 10 points. Glenwood, meanwhile, has lost three of its past four, including a 55-39 loss to Palisade on Friday. It’s certainly a game the Sailors can win, though they’ll need to be much sharper than they were in Denver, a listless performance that might be the low point of the season so far.

Steamboat Nordic skiing

Saturday: Steamboat plays host to 13 teams, starting at 11:30 a.m.

It’s time to race at Ski Touring Center for the Steamboat Springs High School Nordic skiing team. The Sailors will hit the trails with more than 200 high school athletes from across the region, starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The team was missing plenty of athletes at its last competition last week in Aspen, so it easily could better its middle-of-the-pack team finishes if those reinforcements are up and ready to go. Racing at home, with parents, friends and fans lining the course and waiting at the finish line, shouldn’t hurt, either.

Steamboat Alpine skiing

Friday: Steamboat at Aspen

The boys dominated a week ago when the Sailors competed at home, winning their half of a slalom race at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs. They did so with a pack mentality, loading four racers into the top 10 to achieve the overall victory. They hope to do that again Friday in Aspen. On the girls side, the team was shorthanded at home with just one competitor, Lindsey Adler, who had a strong ninth-place finish. She should have some more help this weekend.

Steamboat hockey

Friday: Steamboat, 7-4-1, vs. Battle Mountain, 5-4-2, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: Steamboat vs. Mullen, 0-11, 3 p.m.

Steamboat has a chance to keep the good times rolling with a pair of games this weekend, but it will need to be sharp Friday against regional rival Battle Mountain. The Sailors got an overtime goal to beat the Huskies, 4-3, in December. They said good defense has led to strong offensive output in recent games, and they’ll need to keep that up. Saturday is a chance for a win against Mullen, which enters the weekend winless but not hopeless as it has scored nine goals in its past two games.

Hayden boys basketball

Friday: Hayden, 1-9, at Vail Christian, 6-1, 7:45 p.m.

Is this the weekend it all comes together for the Hayden boys basketball team? If so, it will make for quite an achievement against a Vail Christian squad that’s been one of the best in the region this season. The Saints haven’t lost since the first game of the season, laying waste to recent opponents with lopsided wins. It’s a lot to expect the undermanned and still-getting-up-to-speed Tigers to make a game of it, but it’s not too much to expect things to click at some point. Maybe it will be Friday.

Hayden girls basketball

Friday: Hayden, 4-6, at Vail Christian, 5-2, 6:15 p.m.

The Hayden girls basketball team has been a work in progress since the start of last season, and the Tigers do seem to be making progress. A big step, though, would be picking up a win against a good team in the league, and Friday’s game against Vail Christian gives them the chance. The Saints are coming off a loss but won their previous five games before that. To pull off an upset, Hayden needs to be as mentally sharp as it’s been all season, meaning it doesn’t panic in the face of a bad stretch or a tough press.

Steamboat, Hayden, Soroco wrestling

Thursday: Steamboat at Eagle Valley, Glenwood Springs, 4 p.m.

Friday: Hayden vs. Soroco, Glenwood Springs, 7 p.m.

Saturday: Steamboat, Hayden and Soroco in Steamboat, 9 a.m.

The chance to compete at home is not one taken lightly in Routt County, and this weekend will feature several opportunities for local wrestlers. After traveling Thursday for a triangular, Steamboat will play host to its own tournament, a duals format event Saturday. Hayden and Soroco will match up with each other and Glenwood Springs on Friday, then also travel to Steamboat. For the Sailors and the Tigers, it could be a battle for a high team finish as both teams have shown well in tournaments and seem to be rounding into form. Soroco, too, is coming off a solid week and will be looking to make waves. It will be tough for the Rams in a dual format with a smaller team, but there’s plenty individuals can take from the experience.

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

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