No gimme wins at Steamboat Shoot-Out | SteamboatToday.com

No gimme wins at Steamboat Shoot-Out

Luke Graham

Colleen King, right, breaks past Lizzie Stoll while running through drills during practice at Steamboat Springs High School on Wednesday. Steamboat's boys and girls teams begin Steamboat Shootout tournament play today.

Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team is about to take some tough tests. — The Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team is about to take some tough tests.

— The Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team is about to take some tough tests.

Today begins one of the deepest Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out tournaments in recent memory. The eight-team bracket features four teams in preseason top 10’s – Steamboat, Aspen, Roaring Fork, and D’Evelyn – in addition to defending champion Liberty, a talented team from Green River, Wyo., and a Montrose team that plays in the tough 5A league.

“It’s a tournament with a very powerful field with a lot of returners,” Steamboat coach Kelly Meek said. “There’s a lot of premier guards and big men in this tournament.”

Steamboat (1-1) opens play at 6:20 p.m. today against Montrose in the high school’s main gym.

Steamboat knows Montrose well. Last year, in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs, the Sailors matched up with the Indians and came away with a win.

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The previous year, Steamboat split games with Montrose in the Shoot-Out and the playoffs.

“There’s some familiarity,” Meek said. “We’ve had some really nice games with them.”

Montrose runs what Meek called “a tight offense,” which attacks teams on the inside using a lot of high-low looks.

On defense, Meek said to expect a lot of different sets with a base 1-3-1 zone.

Montrose certainly poses a challenge to Steamboat, but it will be tough for Steamboat not to look ahead.

If Steamboat wins, the team will play the winner of the Aspen-Green River game. Aspen beat Steamboat in the semifinals of the Shoot-Out last year.

Then, on the other side of the bracket, D’Evelyn, who ended Steamboat’s season last year, and Roaring Fork, who beat Steamboat last week, lie ahead as potential opponents.

Still, Meek said one goal of this tournament isn’t just to look at things one game at a time, but rather one possession at a time.

“Our guys would love to be able to play Aspen, Roaring Fork or D’Evelyn again,” Meek said. “But our bracket is strong enough – Montrose plays in a 5A league and sees great competition – that our kids know they’re in for a battle. The Montrose kids are always really tenacious.

“So, looking ahead? That shouldn’t be a problem.”

Girls look to bounce back

Steamboat Springs girls basketball coach John Ameen knows his team needs to improve – quickly.

With the caliber of competition on the girls side of the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out, Ameen said his team has to find more consistency on offense after a winless showing at the Roaring Fork tournament last weekend.

“After this last week, it has to be that consistency that improves on the offensive end,” said Ameen, whose team opens at 8 p.m. tonight against Northridge, in the high school’s main gym. “That’s what it needs to be. If we take care of that, we’ll be in good shape.”

Ameen said despite an 0-2 record, the Sailors are playing strong defense. In the Roaring Fork Tournament, Steamboat gave up 50 and 44 points in two games. But the Sailors only scored a combined 51 points in those two games.

“Offensively, we were in too much of a rush,” Ameen said. “We didn’t slow down once we broke a press. We got out of the realm that made us successful. So this week, I put a heavy emphasis on the offensive end because that is the main thing that we needed.”