Sailor boys basketballers look to end league play on winning note |

Sailor boys basketballers look to end league play on winning note

Luke Graham

— Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball guard Aaron Calkins has every right to look ahead to the playoffs.

The senior hurt his ankle in a win against Palisade on Feb. 9. He missed games against Moffat County and Eagle Valley last week and will miss today’s 7:30 p.m. home clash against Battle Mountain.

But while it’s tempting to look ahead, Calkins said he’s taken it upon himself to make sure his teammates aren’t looking past the Huskies.

“I’ve been trying to take it game by game because I don’t want them to take anyone lightly,” Calkins said. “When they start talking like that, I just tell them, ‘Don’t look past them.’ Especially Moffat. Moffat made me nervous.”

There’s also several numbers that make today’s game significant. With a win, Steamboat (19-2 overall, 13-0 in league play) will have completed its second consecutive undefeated season in the Western Slope League. The Sailors have won 29 straight league games, and seniors Calkins, Michael Vandahl and Colby Kostur have a chance to finish with three undefeated league seasons. Steamboat went a perfect 14-0 when the trio were freshmen.

“I’m really excited,” Calkins said. “This is what the seniors have been working for.”

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While Battle Mountain sits toward the bottom of the league with a 4-18 overall record, the team has been anything but a pushover.

“We just want to finish the season 14-0,” Steamboat junior Alex Wood said. “It definitely gives me confidence going into every game. We know we’re the best team, so losing would be a huge disappointment.”

On the girls side, Steamboat coach John Ameen said he’s looking for the Sailors to correlate all the growth they’ve made this season into their final game.

“I told them this (Tuesday) in practice,” Ameen said. “Obviously, you always walk into a game with the goal of winning. I don’t just want to win, I want it to be the best we’ve played.”

Steamboat beat Battle Mountain, 41-23, earlier this season. Ameen said the key to another victory will be finding scoring options against the Battle Mountain zone defense and crashing the defensive boards.

“I think the girls always have confidence,” Ameen said. “It’s a matter of is it going to translate onto the court. It’s about staying intense and mentally focused.”

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

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