Steamboat basketball set for 5A visitor | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat basketball set for 5A visitor

Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball coach Michael Vandahl points out a direction to his team earlier this season.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There were plenty of lessons to take from the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team's mid-season swoon a year ago, a stretch of 11 games where the team only won three times.

One big lesson, coach Michael Vandahl said was his to learn, about how to handle the two weeks the team will have off between games.

"As a coach, I probably didn't go hard enough in practice, didn't challenge the boys enough," he said. "It will be a big difference in our Christmas break practices this year.

Before the Sailors need to worry about sweating out frosted cookies, however, they need to worry about their last home game of 2017, a Thursday matchup against Class 5A opponent Grand Junction Central.

The varsity girls will take the court at 5 p.m. with the boys to follow at 6:30.

A loss to the Warriors by the Steamboat boys a year ago felt right in the middle of the stretch of losing.

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"It's a great opportunity to play a bigger school, a skilled team that has a lot of talent," Vandahl said. "It's an opportunity to help us prepare for what's ahead during the rest of the season."

The Steamboat boys enter the game 4-2 and are coming off several weeks of solid basketball. The Sailors nearly won their home tournament earlier this month, falling only in overtime in the championship. It would have been their first championship of that event in nearly a decade.

They then took care of business against rival Moffat County last week.

Grand Junction, 4-5, hasn't won or lost two consecutive games yet this season.

"They have size. They have shooters. They're a quality team," Vandahl said.

The Steamboat girls, 0-6, face a team that's had some struggles of its own, building a 3-5 record to start the season.

The game will be the last for both teams before the break. They'll be back on the courts Jan. 4 with a trip to play at Roosevelt.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.