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Montrose uses depth, shooters in win

Indians hand Sailors a 57-31 loss in District 6 semifinals

Melinda Mawdsley

Steamboat coach Steve Moos jokingly called the members of the Montrose girls basketball team clones because they are all about the same size, and they play about the same game.

He didn’t have much else to say after watching the Indians hand the Sailors a 57-31 loss in the District 6 semifinals Friday night in Fruita. Montrose was the better team on both ends of the court.

“They shot so well,” Moos said. “We played so hard, and I told the team some nights it just doesn’t happen.”

Montrose, which has won 17 consecutive district games, is seeking its sixth straight district championship, and coach John Mraule said he was pleased with the way the Indians played Friday compared to the lackluster effort they brought in a narrow win against Palisade on Thursday.

“Our defense sets the tone,” he said.

And there are few basketball teams on the Western Slope — boys or girls — that play team defense like Montrose does. The Indians disrupted the Sailors on nearly every possession in the game, forcing Steamboat into turnovers or off-balance shots. Offensively, Montrose scored 21 of its 57 points from behind the arc, getting 14 points each from Jennifer Fellin and Lauren Becker.

Shelley Dunlop scored 11 for Steamboat. Kayla Kostur added eight.

Mraule said the focus of Montrose’s defense was shutting down Kostur and Dunlop one night after they combined to score 28 points against Moffat County.

But that was all Mraule said he really knew about the Sailors, considering his scouts brought him back 12 pages of reports on Moffat County because they watched Thursday’s game with the belief the Bulldogs were going to win.

Unfortunately for the Sailors, they couldn’t get their second upset in as many days. Steamboat will play for third or fourth against Montezuma-Cortez at 2:30 p.m. today in Fruita.

The Sailors watched the Panthers in Friday’s early game and saw Brittany Whiteman score 25 points on Rifle, so she is a concern for Steamboat today.

“If we have the effort we had (Friday) we should be OK,” he said. “We have to be sure we take care of business (today). There’s a huge difference between finishing third and fourth.”

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com


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