Steamboat boys basketball goes 2-1 in Wyoming | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat boys basketball goes 2-1 in Wyoming

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs — On Saturday, during the final day of the Flaming Gorge Basketball Tournament, the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team saved its best for last. — On Saturday, during the final day of the Flaming Gorge Basketball Tournament, the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team saved its best for last.

— On Saturday, during the final day of the Flaming Gorge Basketball Tournament, the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team saved its best for last.

After trailing from the second quarter on against Evanston, Wyo., Steamboat’s Michael Vandahl drove the length of the court and hit a jumper just inside the 3-point line, with eight tenths of a second remaining in the game, to give Steamboat a 43-41 win.

“It was a beauty,” Steamboat coach Kelly Meek said. “Mikey really bounced back after struggling (Friday). He rebounded with a really great day.”

Steamboat led 7-5 through the first quarter, and continued to struggle offensively by scoring only three points in the second quarter. The Sailors went into the half trailing 17-10.

Meek said Steamboat was down by eight to nine points for most of the second half, before its three senior playmakers started to make plays.

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Aaron Calkins and Colby Kostur scored all of their 23 combined points in the second half to bring Steamboat back into the game.

“Colby and Aaron both came alive in the second half,” Meek said. “We challenged those two in the second half and they responded.”

Vandahl led Steamboat with 14 points. Kostur kicked in 13 points and Calkins added 10.

Meek credited most of the comeback to the way Steamboat played defense in the second half and throughout the tournament.

Steamboat held all three teams they played to less than 50 points, and displayed a full-court press in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game that caused Evanston problems.

“Ryan Shaw played a big part for us in that,” Meek said. ” He came in and was a defensive force.”

The Sailors also were strong on the boards Saturday. Vandahl had 10 rebounds, Alex Wood had eight, Kostur had seven and Calkins had five.

“That’s tremendous rebounding,” Meek said. “We really rebounded well in this tournament.”

With the victory, the Sailors head into the holiday break at 6-2, having played seven quality opponents. Meek said he came away from the non-league portion of the schedule with mixed feelings about the team’s start.

“It was a rough week not having Mike and Alex because of injuries and having to leave Blake (Weinstein) home,” Meek said. “Playing without 60 percent of your starters healthy left us in flux. But (Saturday) in the fourth quarter we came alive. We ended on a positive note.”

Steamboat returns to play Jan. 8 at Moffat County.

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com