Letdown not an option for girls | SteamboatToday.com

Letdown not an option for girls

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs — There wouldn't be any letdown this time. — There wouldn't be any letdown this time.

— There wouldn’t be any letdown this time.

Just a night after giving up an eight-point halftime lead in a loss to Northridge, the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team made its biggest leap with second-year coach John Ameen.

Steamboat dominated play, got a big lead, maintained it

and won its first game of the year, 49-40, against Woodland Park in the second round of the Steamboat Springs Shoot Out.

“The change from what we felt (Thursday) to (Friday) is huge,” Steamboat wing Gracie Stockdale said. “We needed this bad to start off the season on a good note. We’ve never needed a game more than” Friday.

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Steamboat certainly came out like a team that had put Thursday’s letdown in the past.

After Woodland Park took a 12-10 lead just a minute into the second quarter, Steamboat started to impose its will and it began with Stockdale.

The sophomore scored 11 of her game-high 18 points in the second quarter to give the Sailors a 27-16 lead heading into the half.

Whereas Thursday against Northridge Steamboat wilted in the third quarter – getting outscored 20-1 – Friday, Steamboat extended its lead to 34-19 heading into the fourth quarter.

“What I told them in the locker room is that it’s great to bounce back after (the Northridge) game,” Ameen said. “That was a good mental step.”

The Panthers made a run in the fourth quarter, cutting the Sailors lead to 39-32 with 4 minutes, 35 seconds left.

But Steamboat wouldn’t be denied.

The Sailors hit 9-of-13 free throws in the final quarter to make sure the Panthers wouldn’t deal Steamboat another tough loss.

In the game, Steamboat made 21-of-34 free throws, compared to Woodland Park shooting 8-of-22 at the free throw line.

Ameen said that is a stat that shows how far the Steamboat offense has come. In the three previous Steamboat games, the Sailors (1-3) often would get impatient on offense, leading to costly turnovers, Ameen said.

Friday, Ameen said the motion offense, and the girls running it, were a good blend of patience and aggression.

“This is a big leap,” Ameen said. “I think getting confidence will help us out a lot. That’s what a lot of it’s about is confidence. I’ve always had confidence in them, and I think they’ve always had confidence in themselves.”

Stockdale added six rebounds to her 18 points. Colleen King added nine points and 11 rebounds while Darcy Hornstein added eight points and nine rebounds.

“I wanted to win a game so much this whole season,” Stockdale said. “So, I took whatever opportunities I could to get our team a win.”

Steamboat plays at 12:40 p.m. today against Falcon.