Steamboat boys hoops team drops behind after early lead to lose |

Steamboat boys hoops team drops behind after early lead to lose

Jeff Caspersen, Post Independent staff

Steamboat Springs High School senior Randall Nelson goes in for a shot against Glenwood Springs High School.

— Just about everything fell right for Steamboat Springs in the first quarter of its 4A Western Slope League opener at Glenwood Springs on Friday.

Randall Nelson scored the game's first seven points on a couple of inside looks and a 3-pointer. Isiah Men­doza-Forsyth hit a pair of triples. Charles Wood drained a shot from beyond the arc and finished with five points.

The hot-shooting Sailors surged out to a 16-8 lead and, behind a 7-of-14 shooting performance, finished the frame with an 18-15 advantage.

But everything changed in the second quarter.

Mustering just four points on 2-of-16 shooting, the Sailors dropped into a 24-22 deficit and never fully recovered.

Behind 24 points from senior Kevin Flohr, Glenwood Springs made Steamboat pay, scoring a 54-43 win against the Sailors in a showdown between teams that, in recent seasons, always seem to hover near the top of the Western Slope League Class 4A.

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"Our shooting, we could never get it going from" the second quarter on, Steamboat Springs coach Luke DeWolfe said. "We got great looks. Those were shots our guards would normally hit. Randall, our inside guy, normally will hit his shots. They defended well, but those are shots we've got to hit if we want to beat good teams."

Key rebounds down the stretch by Flohr, Nick Ciani and Willy Pelland paved the way for the host Demons (7-3) in the second half as they outscored the Sailors by 30-21 after halftime.

"They did a good job with it," Glenwood coach Cory Hitch­­cock said. "They were rebounding. I stressed at halftime, 'If you guys want to win this basketball game, you've got to rebound. Not just two guys, but we have to have four guys crashing the boards.' In the second half, we worked hard on the boards and started doing the little things."

Pelland scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots. Flohr secured eight boards, and Ciani finished nine rebounds and two points.

"Steamboat's always a good team," Pelland said. "They have great coaches. It's really big for us to get that win and start us out good in league. We'll have that ball rolling. We can just keep it going, hopefully."

Mike McGraw poured in nine points off the bench for the Demons, who travel to face Moffat County today at 3:30 p.m.

Forsyth, who finished the night with four 3-pointers, and Wood led the Sailors (5-6) with 15 points apiece. Nelson chipped in with nine.

Steamboat's off until a trip to Battle Mountain on Friday.

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