Sailors boys basketball finally gets its shot at Glenwood at home | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors boys basketball finally gets its shot at Glenwood at home

Ben Ingersoll

Steamboat seniors Austin Kerbs, left, and Brody King go at it during a drill simulating some Glenwood Springs offensive sets at Wednesday's practice. The Sailors will host the Demons on Saturday. Both teams enter the contest with perfect 4-0 conference records.

— Glenwood Springs High School boys basketball coach Cory Hitchcock can reel off the names and accolades of Steamboat Springs’ roster like they’re kids sporting Demons’ red.

"Garrett Bye, he clogs the middle," Hitchcock says quickly. "Robi Powers, he’s speaking for himself now. Brody King is a great point guard. He does a nice job of balancing their team out."

And on and on he goes.

It’s obvious Hitchcock knows the Sailors’ weapons. He also knows how to beat them pretty darn well, as evident by last year’s pair of double-digit wins over Steamboat, helping fuel a rivalry that often decides which team will finish at or near the top of the 4A Western Slope League.

But Steamboat hasn’t traded punches with Glenwood at Kelly Meek Gymnasium since Dec. 15, 2012. The Sailors swallowed their home game against the Demons last winter for an opportunity to face them at Denver’s Pepsi Center, a 56-40 Glenwood victory.

On Saturday, the Demons basketball team will make the trip through Glenwood Canyon and along Colorado Highway 131 for the first time in 763 days to take on a Steamboat team hungry to take the conference lead. Each team enters the contest with perfect 4-0 league records.

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"Hands down, it’s between us and Glenwood (for the league title)," Bye said. "It’s going to be a huge game."

The Sailors have lost five straight regular-season games against the Demons but did spoil Glenwood’s season at the tail end of the 2012-13 year’s district tournament.

And for a pair of teams that both coaches admit share very similar strengths and weaknesses, Saturday’s rivalry game at Steambaot Springs High School is certain to be loud, physical and entertaining.

"I think it’s an exciting matchup," Hitchcock said. "Steamboat has always been a big game for Glenwood. They come out ready to play every time we face them. You know when you go into a game with them it will be a dog fight and you’ll have to really claw and battle hard."

The Demons are sure to play a physical brand of basketball, Sailors coach Luke DeWolfe said. They also boast the conference’s leading scorer in Cameron Horning (19 points per game).

Will Gray and Zack Peterson, both 6-feet 6-inches tall, are sure to anchor the front court against Bye. Horning will likely have to battle against Powers, who is right behind his counterpart with a 17-points-per-game scoring average.

"It’s a tall order," DeWolfe said. "It should be a great game. It’s two solid teams, and it should be a lot of fun."

The Demons certainly have Hitchcock and company’s attention. The fifth-year Glenwood coach may have been playing the modest underdog card, but he elected to tab Steamboat as the clear favorite to snag the Western Slope crown.

And in a conference where the next best team behind the pair of squads is 2-2 and 4-6 overall (Battle Mountain), Hitchcock also may have made the understatement of the month when looking ahead to Glenwood-Steamboat Round 1.

"If you look at the schedules around our league, that will be the game of the week," Hitchcock said.

Tipoff for the 4A Western Slope game of the week is at 2 p.m.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll