Sailors prepare for another test | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors prepare for another test

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs High School's Alex Wood pushes a jump shot past a defender's outstretched hands during the Sailors game against D'Evelyn on Satuday night. Steamboat won the game, 61-50, to clinch the championship in the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out.

Steamboat Springs — The schedule isn't getting any easier for the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team. — The schedule isn't getting any easier for the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team.

— The schedule isn’t getting any easier for the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team.

A week after winning what coach Kelly Meek called the deepest Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out in the tournament’s nine-year history, the Sailors are gearing up for one of the most competitive preseason tournaments in Wyoming.

Steamboat (4-1) will face three teams ranked in Class 4A’s top 10 – Wyoming’s largest classification – during the Flaming Gorge Classic Basketball Tournament. Steamboat opens at 3:45 p.m. today against No. 8 Sheridan at Rock Springs High School.

The team also plays No. 5 Rock Springs at 5 p.m. Friday and No. 2 Evanston at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

For perspective, Green River, Wyo. – who Steamboat beat, 72-70, in overtime during the semifinals of the Shoot-Out – is ranked No. 4 in Wyoming’s Class 4A.

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To make matters even tougher, the Sailors potentially will play without three of their starters. Alex Wood (ankle) and Michael Vandahl (thumb) may not play because of injuries, and Blake Weinstein (coach’s decision) will not make the trip.

Despite the injuries, Meek said the tournament will allow him to explore the team’s depth – something the Sailors didn’t have last year.

“We’re one, possibly two, people deeper than we were,” Meek said. “Last year, at the end of the year in the playoffs, we were a six-man team. We have the potential to go one to three more than that this year.”

Although Steamboat may be down several starters, Meek said the team’s progression the last three games of the Shoot-Out show the team is on the right path.

Coming off two-point wins against Montrose and Green River, Steamboat raised some eyebrows with a dominating 61-50 win against nemesis D’Evelyn.

“Our progression from Thursday against Montrose to D’Evelyn was huge,” Meek said. “That was a big step. Against D’Evelyn, we needed to attack them. We had to have that urgency, and we needed to defend. Our kids had that sense of urgency from possession to possession.”

In Wyoming, the Sailors will see a different type of game, with players who are stronger and quicker than most of the competition Steamboat is used to.

“It’s a good test for us,” said wing Aaron Calkins, who deemed himself 90 percent to 95 percent after battling mononucleosis. “This weekend should be really good for us. We just want to play the toughest teams possible.”

Meek said with the competition again expected to be tough, the plan will be the same for the Sailors as they head into the Christmas break and prepare for the league schedule.

“We want to continue to improve,” Meek said. “We want to get better right now and be sure our kids step up mentally.”

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

A week after winning what coach Kelly Meek called the deepest Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out in the tournament’s nine-year history, the Sailors are gearing up for one of the most competitive preseason tournaments in Wyoming.

Steamboat (4-1) will face three teams ranked in Class 4A’s top 10 – Wyoming’s largest classification – during the Flaming Gorge Classic Basketball Tournament. Steamboat opens at 3:45 p.m. today against No. 8 Sheridan at Rock Springs High School.

The team also plays No. 5 Rock Springs at 5 p.m. Friday and No. 2 Evanston at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

For perspective, Green River, Wyo. – who Steamboat beat, 72-70, in overtime during the semifinals of the Shoot-Out – is ranked No. 4 in Wyoming’s Class 4A.

To make matters even tougher, the Sailors potentially will play without three of their starters. Alex Wood (ankle) and Michael Vandahl (thumb) may not play because of injuries, and Blake Weinstein (coach’s decision) will not make the trip.

Despite the injuries, Meek said the tournament will allow him to explore the team’s depth – something the Sailors didn’t have last year.

“We’re one, possibly two, people deeper than we were,” Meek said. “Last year, at the end of the year in the playoffs, we were a six-man team. We have the potential to go one to three more than that this year.”

Although Steamboat may be down several starters, Meek said the team’s progression the last three games of the Shoot-Out show the team is on the right path.

Coming off two-point wins against Montrose and Green River, Steamboat raised some eyebrows with a dominating 61-50 win against nemesis D’Evelyn.

“Our progression from Thursday against Montrose to D’Evelyn was huge,” Meek said. “That was a big step. Against D’Evelyn, we needed to attack them. We had to have that urgency, and we needed to defend. Our kids had that sense of urgency from possession to possession.”

In Wyoming, the Sailors will see a different type of game, with players who are stronger and quicker than most of the competition Steamboat is used to.

“It’s a good test for us,” said wing Aaron Calkins, who deemed himself 90 percent to 95 percent after battling mononucleosis. “This weekend should be really good for us. We just want to play the toughest teams possible.”

Meek said with the competition again expected to be tough, the plan will be the same for the Sailors as they head into the Christmas break and prepare for the league schedule.

“We want to continue to improve,” Meek said. “We want to get better right now and be sure our kids step up mentally.”

Flaming Gorge Classic

– Steamboat boys vs. Sheridan, 3:45 p.m. today at Rock Springs High School

– Steamboat boys vs. Rock Springs, 5 p.m. Friday at Rock Springs High School

– Steamboat boys vs. Evanston, 11:45 a.m. Saturday at Green River High School