High school sports weekend preview for Jan. 9 and 10, 2015

Steamboat boys basketball

7:30 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (5-3) at Palisade (2-5)

2:30 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat at Delta (4-4)

Steamboat Springs High School basketball will ring in the New Year with its annual Palisade-Delta overnight trip, a team-bonding favorite, but also one that routinely presents big challenges.

The Sailors boys will kick off the weekend with a Friday night contest at Palisade, which comes in with just a pair of wins but certainly can’t be taken lightly. The Bulldogs put up 82 points on Delta on Dec. 12 and came back the next week and knocked off Class 3A’s No. 3-ranked team in Lutheran.

Steamboat’s backcourt will get challenged heavily by the Bulldogs’ top-ranked scorers. Seniors Marques Combs (14.6 points per game) and Brad Baker (9.4 points per game) lead the way. The Sailors should have an obvious size advantage with Garrett Bye anchoring the middle and Jon Rinck and Nathan DePuy returning from injury.

In the weekend cap, Delta also is returning to its first action after the holiday layoff where the Panthers finished on a winning note against Battle Mountain, 61-60. The Panthers did edge Steamboat last year around this time by one point on the Sailors’ same Palisade-Delta overnight trip.

Steamboat girls basketball

6 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (3-5) at Palisade (4-2)

1 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat at Delta (4-4)

The Sailors girls certainly have some work cut out for them if they are going to start the new year on a winning note.

Steamboat also will be on its annual overnight Palisade-Delta trip and will take on a pair of four-win squads. Palisade comes in as winners of four of its last five games. The Bulldogs’ only two losses have come against Falcon and Montrose, a pair of highly ranked Class 4A teams.

The Sailors will have a better chance of picking up a Western Slope League win against Delta, a team that was smacked against Palisade on Dec. 12, 51-29. It will be the first Steamboat-Delta rematch since the Sailors scored an upset victory in last season’s league tourney.

Steamboat hockey

6:30 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (0-8) vs. Battle Mountain (3-2)

3 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat vs. Kent Denver (1-4)

Could this be the weekend the Sailors pick up win No. 1?

Based on its two opponents’ 2014-15 records thus far, it could be as good a time as any for Steamboat to get on the winning track. The Sailors also will have home ice in their favor, playing the Friday-Saturday games at an always-raucous Howelsen Ice Arena.

Steamboat will first host Battle Mountain, a 3-2 Huskies team that has dropped two of its last three contests. Battle Mountain has competed on the road just once this year, beating 1-6 Chatfield on Dec. 13.

On Saturday, 1-4 Kent Denver will make the four-hour bus ride from its Englewood campus to take on Steamboat in the weekend cap. When the Sun Devils struggle, they struggle mightily. Kent Denver has lost its four games this winter by an average of 6.5 goals per contest.

Hayden, Steamboat and Soroco wrestling

Friday and Saturday: Hayden at Tournament of Champions (Vernal, Utah)

Saturday: Steamboat and Soroco at Eagle Valley Tournament

The Hayden High School wrestling team will see its toughest competition of the season this coming weekend, which includes the regional and Class 2A state championship.

The two-day Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah, brings together the highest level of competition that Utah and neighboring states have to offer. The Tigers are riding a big win against Moffat County on Wednesday, but the brackets in Vernal will present a much bigger challenge.

Steamboat and Soroco will each be at the Eagle Valley Tournament, which has a diverse lineup of schools of Colorado classifications competing. It will be each team’s first time on the mat in 2015.

Steamboat skiing

Friday: Steamboat Alpine team at Beaver Creek

Saturday: Steamboat Nordic team at Eldora

With the skiing state championship about a month away now, both Steamboat Springs High School teams are ramping up for their remaining competitions before the big dance.

First, the Alpine squad will be at Beaver Creek on Friday in an eight-team giant slalom competition. Their state championship will be Feb. 19 and 20 at Keystone.

On Saturday, the Sailors Nordic team will compete in its second competition this winter, this time at Eldora against 12 schools. The format is an individual start classic with 15-second intervals between skiers. The Nordic team will have three more races before their state championship, also Feb. 19 and 20 at Keystone.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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