Luke Graham: Welcome back prep sports |

Luke Graham: Welcome back prep sports

Luke Graham

Luke Graham

— It's been awhile.

Fall high school sports teams went through their struggles. The season ended quick, and the teams' struggles almost made it a year without any postseason games.

To put it in better context, Thursday marked the first time I've covered a live high school game in 40 days.

But I'm glad high school sports are back, and the winter season almost always is one of the best. There is a plethora of sports to hold anyone over.

With our first tangle into winter sports, here are some quick thoughts I have after a weekend of basketball in Routt County.

■ It's still early season for all of us, and I hate complaining about referees, but it's a thankless job where they rarely hear the words "good job." But during the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out, I'm not sure I've ever seen more fouls called.

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I understand that a foul is a foul. But I watched several games where there was no flow to the game because of constant whistles.

My theory is this: You're better off making no call than a call. People want to watch the game. Free throws are boring, and unless it directly affects the game, don't call a hand check 75 feet from the basket.

■ This may not make people in Hayden happy, but Eric Hamilton has a good group in Moffat County playing his style.

The former Hayden girls coach had the Moffat boys team playing up-tempo and fast. I'm excited to see what he does with the boys team there. That job has been a revolving door. I think Hamilton can have success, and I think he will stay with Moffat County for a while, as well.

■ Now, here is something to make Hayden fans happy. Erin Koehler is a beast.

The senior has been tearing up the early parts of the season, putting up big numbers on the basketball court. She's definitely the best girls player in the area. I'm interested to see Hayden live and see how she's progressed.

In years past, Koehler always was a good player, but she never seemed to have that edge that makes a lot of players great. Putting up 36 and 35 points in games this year has me thinking she might have found a little bit of a mean streak.

■ And finally, although the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team went 1-2 in their home tournament, there were some good things that came out.

Most importantly was the development of Jake Miller. He's been incredibly fun to watch. He's an old school post player. He's 6-foot-2, is never as big or as athletic as the guys he plays against and he generally dominates during the game.

There is something fun about watching a forward that works incredibly well in space, knows the importance of a drop step and can use both hands around the rim. If you're looking for a fundamentally sound player, go check out Miller and the Steamboat boys.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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