Boys continue to dominate league
Sailors girls finish season with win
February 23, 2008
Steamboat Springs — With Friday’s 63-27 win against Battle Mountain, the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team proved it’s in a class of its own en route to locking up the team’s second consecutive undefeated league season.
The Sailors have won 30 straight Western Slope League games – a stretch veteran Steamboat coach Kelly Meek thinks could be the longest in league history – and made a strong push to earn a top eight seed in the state playoffs. State playoff brackets will be released Sunday.
“This team is the best we’ve ever had in terms of overall participation together in the offseason,” Meek said. “I’ve never had one like it – never. I think that’s important.”
The Sailors showed Friday just how far that hard work goes. With most of the Steamboat starters seeing limited action against the under-manned Battle Mountain team, the Sailors never hit a lull. Steamboat had nine players score, including 11 points from senior Darren Burke and 18 from Ryan Shaw.
“It’s just the self-satisfaction,” Burke said about his commitment to the team over individual success. “For me, what meant the most was seeing how much I improved. Even though I didn’t get to play as much, in the end it really doesn’t matter to me. We had a good season.”
Burke looked like a four-year starter against Battle Mountain. The 6-foot-6 senior dominated the inside play, adding 10 rebounds and three blocks.
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Steamboat had all but decided the contest in the first half. The Sailors jumped out to a 19-4 first-quarter lead and led by as many as 31 in the third quarter.
All that’s left of the regular season is seeing where Steamboat is seeded in the playoffs. Considering the Sailors are among only a handful of teams with perfect league records, Meek said it’s tough to imagine not getting a top-eight seed.
If Steamboat gets a top-eight seed, it will play Friday at home.
“I’m hoping we get in that top eight,” Meek said. “I think it will be tough keeping us out of there. But there is a whole lot of good teams out there. Wherever it falls is wherever it falls.”
Steamboat girls finish season on high note
The offseason just got a little easier for the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team.
Not that coach John Ameen – who plans to start workouts after Blues Break – won’t make sure the offseason program is hard, but with Friday’s 48-44 win in overtime against Battle Mountain, the coach won’t have to sit on a loss for eight months.
“We persevered through a lackluster first half,” Ameen said. “Obviously, I wasn’t pleased, but neither were the girls. The second half we were tremendously better in all aspects.”
Steamboat fell behind early but was down only two at half. Steamboat took a 29-28 lead into the fourth quarter. Battle Mountain tied the score at 38 with 27 seconds remaining in the game to send it to overtime.
In the extra period, however, Steamboat made 8-of-10 free throws, including a perfect 6-of-6 from sophomore Gracie Stockdale to secure the win.
Stockdale led the Sailors with 22 points and nine rebounds. Colleen King chipped in 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
“We’re going to work on our sets, press breakers, maintaining consistency and getting better,” Ameen said. “If this program wants to be where it needs to be, that’s where those workouts need to be.”