Steamboat girls basketball bounced from state playoffs |

Steamboat girls basketball bounced from state playoffs

— Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball coach John Ameen can be an optimistic guy when he's sizing up an opponent. For instance, when he looked ahead to top-10-ranked Windsor, the No. 3 seed in the 11th-seeded Sailors' bracket in the Class 4A state basketball tournament, he saw opportunity in addition to the Wizards’ 20-3 record.

The record prevailed Friday night, but Steamboat had all the opportunity it wanted, and despite his disappointment in the season-ending 37-24 loss, Ameen spoke with an air of excitement after the defeat.

The Wizards pulled away in the third and fourth quarters as Steamboat's offense sputtered, but that distance came only after the Sailors threw them a mighty scare, leading through most of the first half and into the second.

"You want to go out like this," he said. "You want to go out fighting and playing to your full potential. Execution wise, offensively and defensively, it was great. The ball didn't bounce our way around the rim, but that's just the game of basketball."

Steamboat lead 14-13 at the half, getting the best of a slow, defensive game and shackling what has been one of the state's more powerful offenses.

Senior McKenzie Repollo scored nine to lead the Sailors in her final game. Senior Nikki Fry, meanwhile, had six points and eight rebounds.

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"We played great, about as good as you could," Ameen said. "The only thing, we went cold in the second half. Really cold.

"It was a great game. It was a lot of fun."

Steamboat won its first-round playoff game Tuesday against Green Mountain, 32-30. It finishes the season 13-12.

"I'm just proud of how we got things turned around this year, getting a playoff win for the first time in more than a decade," he said. "We have a lot to build off for next year."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email

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