Steamboat girls basketball passes Windsor, 43-34 |

Steamboat girls basketball passes Windsor, 43-34

Steamboat's Eryn Rinck fights with Windor's Aimee Jo Harris for a rebound Thursday during the first round of the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out at Steamboat Springs High School. After a lackluster first half, the Sailors blew past the Wizards, setting up a semi-final showdown at 6:30 p.m. today against Fossil Ridge.

— There was a lone bright spot during the first half for the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team Thursday night in the first round of the Steamboat Shoot-Out in Steamboat Springs.

The Sailors were in foul trouble, and they couldn't shoot. They were turnover prone and were being beaten on the boards.

They'd scored just 12 points in 16 minutes.

But the defense had held, and the team trailed by only three.

That defense still was there in the second half, and a pair of Sailor seniors rose up to provide more than enough punch to knock out Windsor.

Steamboat advanced to tonight's semifinal round of its home tournament with a 43-34 come-from-behind victory against the Wizards. The Sailors play at 6:30 p.m. against Fossil Ridge.

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"Everything clicked in that second half," Steamboat coach John Ameen said. "That's what this coaching staff and this team sees that we're able to do this season."

When things started going well for the Sailors, they went well in a hurry.

Senior Tara Spitellie drained a 3-point shot several seconds into the second half to tie the score, and Steamboat never trailed again.

Spitellie took over the third quarter, nailing another trey and finishing the third quarter with eight of her 14 points.

"It's a good feeling," Spitellie said, explaining the emotions of her hot streak. "We went into halftime and said in order to get the shots we want, we would have to swing the ball around. We came back out, and we did that until we got the right looks."

Steamboat led by five after that quarter. Senior Hannah Moore followed up Spitellie's splurge with one of her own. Frustrated through the first three quarters of the game, she shelled out 12 points in the fourth, blowing things open.

She hit a 3-point shot early in the fourth quarter, stole the ball moments later, dropped in a layup, was fouled, converted the ensuing free throw and then cashed in another steal later in the quarter.

The last score made the once-tight game a 14-point snoozer.

"That first half was a little rough," Moore said. "After I made my first shot, something kicked in.

"It's so awesome to get to host this tournament. There are a lot of good teams here, and we want to show we are one of those teams. We are going to need to pick up our intensity for the whole game to do that."