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Sailors facing tough test

Melinda Mawdsley

Coach Kelly Meek calls the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team “a work in progress.”

Careless mistakes prevented the Sailors from having any chance at success at the Roaring Fork Tournament last weekend, where Steamboat dropped both games. And Meek said unforced mistakes, such as traveling or playing lackluster defense, have to be eliminated for Steamboat to defend its own Steamboat Shootout crown, beginning today.

“It was just a lack of being fundamental,” Meek said. “It was kids wanting to do well and getting in a rush. We were really impatient. The kids were wanting to make plays instead of playing the possession for what it was.”

Steamboat opens the three-day tournament at 6:50 p.m. today against Aspen, a solid 3A program with state tournament experience.

The tournament is determined by the best record after three games because not every team plays each other.

The Sailors play Conifer at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Johnson County (Tenn.) at 6:50 p.m. Saturday.

Ridgeview Academy and Roaring Fork also are in the tournament.

This marks the second straight season that Johnson County has ventured to Steamboat for this basketball tournament, and Meek said he is excited for the Sailors to have the opportunity to square off against the physical bunch from the eastern hills of Tennessee.

“We are just excited to get going again,” Meek said. “After last weekend, that gave us a lot of indication of where we are.”

And where the Sailors are has no one satisfied. It is still early in the season, and Meek said the team will start developing around players who emerge as floor leaders.

One thing is certain: Meek wants to see better defense in the three-day home tournament.

“Defensively, there were times we lost our heart (last weekend),” Meek said. “There were times our five guys didn’t defend with everything they had together.”

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


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