4th-quarter surge lifts Steamboat boys lacrosse | SteamboatToday.com

4th-quarter surge lifts Steamboat boys lacrosse

— A tight first half didn't faze the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team Thursday. The Sailors broke free from a 2-2 halftime tie to win handily against a tough squad from Bountiful, Utah, 7-2.

Steamboat was rigid on defense and patient on offense, and that finally began to pay off in the second half.

"This was a big game for us, and we knew what we had to do," Steamboat's Ben Wharton said. "Since the Aspen loss, we've recovered well. A game like this against a really good team from another state is a big confidence booster for us."

Steamboat waited about as long as possible to begin cracking the Braves' defense, scoring four of its five goals in the fourth quarter, but that explosion was enough to leave the squad satisfied with its performance and eager for another big matchup, Saturday's looming contest with Rock Canyon.

The Jaguars beat Steamboat in a matchup last year and eventually made the state quarterfinals. They're 3-2 this season.

"We need to keep doing what we're doing well," coach Bob Hiester said. "That will be a tough test against another good lacrosse team on the road."

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The Sailors will be hoping for some of the discipline they displayed Thursday.

Steamboat held possession for long stretches in the second half as it worked the ball around the perimeter of zone, waiting for an opportunity. Good shots were rare against a tough zone defense, and even many quality looks were shut down by Bountiful's able goalie. Finally, Steamboat's Peyton Trask helped unlock things, scoring only when the Braves' defense was left in disarray by a fast break and subsequent series of quick Steamboat passes.

He found the back of the net with 1 minute, 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter. That started a flood of Sailor scoring. Christian Ramirez had two goals in the fourth quarter to finish with three. Wharton scored again, finishing with two in the game. Dane Dixson also had a goal for Steamboat.

"We were trying some new things on offense in the first half, trying to get a new rotation in, and we were a little too spread out," Wharton said. "We made a switch in the second half and realized how open the middle was. We started getting some cuts, and that's where we scored all of our goals."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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