High school team sees where it stands in Vegas | SteamboatToday.com

High school team sees where it stands in Vegas

— It’s not always about wins and losses.

Case in point: the Steamboat High School boys basketball teams’ performance at the Reebok Big Time Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas.

The team finished 0-4 at the tournament, but were able to play against some of the best competition in the nation.

“We looked like a junior high team walking around,” Head Coach Kelly Meek said. “But we got great compliments from all of the other teams. … They all respected us for the way we competed.”

While they lost all four of their games, Steamboat players said the experience should prove to be invaluable when the regular season rolls around.

“After seeing that competition, it lets us know where we stand,” senior Tanner Stillwell said. “We learned a lot about ourselves and what we need to improve on.”

The first team Steamboat had to face just happened to be the Ohio Force — the team that won the tournament the past three years and is regarded by many as the best team in the country.

Still, Steamboat only trailed by two at halftime and only lost the game by 10.

Steamboat also played teams from Arizona and California. None of which had an enrollment of less than 3,000. In all of the games, Steamboat was never blown out.

“It should give us great confidence to know that we had leads with teams that we were playing,” Meek said.

What’s more impressive is Steamboat mostly played with only six of its eight players. Two players were either hurt or sick for all of the games.

The tournament attracts top summer teams and players from around the country.

The tournament has hosted players such as Lebron James and top overall high school prospect from last year Greg Oden.

Meek said the tournament should be considered a success because of all the positives they were able to take away.

“Our biggest thing was that (the players) never quit fighting or show weakness,” he said. “It showed our kids what our weaknesses are when we play someone who is faster and stronger than us. It showed us what we need to do to be successful.”

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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