High School sports weekend preview, Feb. 19 | SteamboatToday.com

High School sports weekend preview, Feb. 19

Steamboat boys basketball

7:30 p.m. Thursday: No. 3 Steamboat (15-5) at district tournament vs. Palisade (9-11)

No question, this is a big one for the Steamboat boys basketball team.

A win against Palisade in the first round of the district basketball tournament will lock the Sailors into the state postseason tournament. That’s a bigger deal than it used to be as the field was shrunk this year from 48 to 32 teams.

Steamboat and Palisade have already met twice with the Sailors winning both games. The second was particularly close as Steamboat had to rally from an early double-digit deficit to get back in the game, eventually winning, 55-47.

“As much as anything, it will take winning the rebounding game and solid defense,” coach Luke DeWolfe said. “We need to get off to a good start, make sure our emotions are in check and stay focused and in the moment. It’s easy to get carried away because there’s so much on the line.”

The stakes are still high if the Sailors win, as they’ll be playing to up their state seed. They’d face either Cortez or Montrose in the second round at 4:30 p.m. Friday, then likely Glenwood Springs again in the finals at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, if both teams won in the second round.

“It’s a big game,” DeWolfe said, “but that’s what this time of year is all about.”

Soroco girls basketball

5:30 p.m. Thursday: Soroco (16-2) vs. Rangely (4-12)

The Soroco High School girls basketball squad soared to new heights this season, winning its league for the first time in 19 years. That drive took a toll, however, leaving a pile of injured players.

The team will play one game in a two-week period starting with its tough win Friday over Hayden and ending Feb. 27 when it plays in the district basketball tournament. That’s music to the team’s ears, offering precious time to recover ahead of its planned push through the postseason.

The rest is nice, but the Rams surely would still love to win their home and regular season finale at 5:30 p.m. Thursday night in Oak Creek against Rangely.

The two teams met in December, Soroco winning handily, 68-48.

Soroco boys basketball

7 p.m. Thursday: Soroco (13-5) vs. Rangely (4-12)

Thursday night’s game will be both a chance to celebrate a second-place league finish for the Soroco boys team and to get in one final tuneup before it heads next week to the district tournament.

The Rams and Panthers met in December, and Soroco eked out a win in a low-scoring game, 34-32. Soroco entered that game at 2-2, Rangely at 1-2. Each team has gone dramatically different ways since.

The Rams have won six straight while the Panthers have lost four in a row and won just three more times this season.

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

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