Sailors rout Panthers |

Sailors rout Panthers

Steamboat boys crush visiting Delta, 81-29

Luke Graham
Steamboat Springs Connor Moore and Delta's Austin Watson battle for a rebound in the second half of Friday night's game at Steamboat Springs High School. Sailors won, 81-29.
John F. Russell

— Delta certainly wasn’t a team at the bottom of the league in the eyes of the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team.

Playing a dominant brand of basketball from the start, the Sailors put away any doubt of looking past Delta, crushing the visiting Panthers, 81-29, on Friday night in Steamboat.

“Every pregame, coach (Kelly Meek) does the same thing,” said Steamboat’s Nelson Brassell, who led the Sailors with 16 points. “We always scout them. Nothing changes. He never says look past them. He teaches us their tendencies and everything. We always take every opponent seriously because you never know when they’ll jump up on you.”

Steamboat didn’t let Delta jump, move or even wiggle Friday night.

The Sailors had three players score in double figures and 11 players record a bucket as the team shot 55 percent (30-of-54) from the field.

“We were sharp in terms of no matter what, we didn’t overlook them,” Meek said. “We came out with a lot of energy, communicated well and shared the ball really well.”

The game was done after the first quarter.

Delta took a 2-0 lead 53 seconds into the game. The Panthers would score only four more points the rest of the half.

Steamboat couldn’t seem to miss. The Sailors hit seven first half 3-pointers, caused 16 Panther turnovers and took a 38-6 lead into halftime.

In the second half, with most of the Steamboat starters seeing little time, the Sailors didn’t miss a beat.

Steamboat outscored the Delta, 43-23, in the second half and got contributions from 13 different players.

“We knew since we beat them last time that they’d come out a lot harder,” said Steamboat guard Ryan Shaw, who has transitioned from sixth man to starter. “We just knew we had to start it with defense and keep with our fundamentals.”

Along with Brassell, Aaron Calkins added 15 points, Michael Vandahl scored 13 and Andrew Hook added two.

Steamboat has little time to celebrate its win. Palisade comes into town for a 5:30 p.m. game today. Meek said the Bulldogs are a “whole different animal” than the Panthers.

Palisade figures to be a major threat to Steamboat’s second consecutive undefeated Western Slope League record.

Meek said Palisade runs an offense very similar to Memphis, with athletes at every position.

“This is a whole different skill level,” Meek said. “These guys can all put it on the deck, create a lot of chaos and all have a lot of speed. They can all shoot the 3 and can get hotter than a firecracker.”

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