Sailors boys basketball itching for a piece of the league title
Steamboat Springs — The Glenwood Springs High School boys basketball team isn’t in the business of sharing.
The Steamboat Springs squad? They’d love nothing more than a title divided this weekend.
On the line Saturday in Glenwood is the biggest prize the 4A Western Slope League has to offer. The Demons have already wrapped up their share of the conference championship after cruising to a perfect 13-0 record thus far.
Steamboat (15-4, 12-1 Western Slope) wants its piece, too, and the Sailors will have their shot if they can somehow knock off their rival, a feat they haven’t accomplished in the last six regular-season tries.
“The one thing I’m happy with is we’re at least a league champion already,” Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock said. “But my boys don’t want to share a championship with anybody.”
The Demons and Sailors traded leads back and forth this winter in Round 1, but it was Glenwood that used a late surge to unseat Steamboat, 45-38. Since then, both teams have asserted themselves as the best two programs in the conference in 2014-15. Rifle, which went 8-5 in league play, finished in third place.
After that Sailors loss to the Demons in Kelly Meek Gymnasium, the Sailors have torn through their remaining eight conferences foes by an average of 15 points per win.
Glenwood has fared even better.
The Demons’ only three losses this winter came at their home tournament in mid-December. Since then, they have bullied the 4A Western Slope, winning every one of their league contests by an average of 18 points per game. Steamboat is the only team that has come within single digits of knocking off the conference’s top dog.
“That loss fueled us,” Steamboat senior guard Brody King said. “It made us take every game really seriously because we knew if we wanted a shot at sharing that league title we’d have to win outright.”
Although nothing is set in stone until the season wraps up, the 4A Western Slope boys player of the year is almost certainly going to walk off the floor Saturday afternoon.
Glenwood’s Cameron Horning is averaging right around 18 points per game, second-best in the league. Steamboat’s Robi Powers is right on his heels with a 17-points-per-game average. Horning blew up on Battle Mountain to the tune of 34 points Jan. 31. Powers had a career night on Thursday at Summit, pouring in 32 points aided by six 3-pointers.
Even scarier news for the players and coaches sticking around beyond this season is both players will be back on the court next year as seniors. Opponents fear them; their coaches love them.
“More importantly, besides being two great basketball players, is they’re just two great kids,” Hitchcock said. “Cameron’s an amazing kid to coach. He’s very coachable, and he’s always striving to make himself better. From what I hear from coach DeWolfe, Robi is the same way.”
With both teams loaded with seniors, it seems unlikely Powers and Horning will meet on a stage quite like this again — a regular-season finale with a title on the line.
The seniors who are getting the shot — like Brody King — wouldn’t mind a little home-court payback on the Demons’ floor before each team heads to their district tournament next weekend.
“It would be nice to have the league title for ourselves, but obviously that’s not an option anymore,” King said. “It would be really nice to take a piece of it from them on their home court.”
The game starts at 2:30 p.m.
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Time seemed to stop for Matthew Engle for a few seconds after he heard crunching metal last week while he was in downtown Steamboat Springs.