Sailors scoring big in 4-game streak |

Sailors scoring big in 4-game streak

Offensive improvements lifting Steamboat boys

— Basketball, at least good basketball, takes trust, Steamboat Springs High School senior Charlie Harrington said.

A month ago, that was something seriously lacking from the Sailors boys basketball team and one reason the team slipped into an extended slump.

Saturday, it was very much there, however, allowing Steamboat to blast another league rival in its 62-41 defeat of Palisade in Steamboat.

The win kept the Sailors in the running for second-place in the league, improving their Western Slope record to 5-4.

"Trust is really important, trusting the guys around you to make the right plays," Harrington said.

That trust has become most apparent on the offense, an area in which the team was deficient in January.

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Steamboat averaged 43 points per game in 11 January games, going 2-9 during that stretch. It's now 4-0 in February games, averaging 11 more points, 54 per game, and against some of the same competition.

The extra scoring output is coming first with more patience. The Sailors got a 3-point shot from Ethan Riniker to open Saturday’s game, and it came after eight passes on the offensive end, eventually finding the senior wide open.

"I'm really proud of the way we're passing up good shots to get great shots," coach Michael Vandahl said.

That increase in scoring is also coming for underclassmen.

Riniker is and was the team's leading scorer, averaging 15.0 points per game on the season. He's been slightly better recently, going for 12.4 points per game in January to 15.5 in February.

He had 13 points Saturday against Palisade.

Junior guard Jake Berry, however, has doubled his output, from 5.6 per game in January to 10.5 in February. He's reached double digits in three of his last five games, and Saturday, he unloaded on Palisade.

Berry drained five 3-point shots and led the Sailors with 17 points, the highest output of his career.

"Five for five, that was pretty awesome," Harrington said. "We've always trusted Jake's shot, but Jake's really learned to trust it himself."

Another star Saturday was sophomore Tyler Doyne. He averaged only 2.4 points per game through January, going scoreless in four of the 11.

He's averaged 6.3 points per game since, and he poured in 12 points on Saturday, including a fast break dunk he threw down as time expired in the third quarter.

It's all added up to four consecutive wins, the team's only winning streak this season longer than two games.

It has two more to go to wrap up the regular season. The Sailors next play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against Rifle.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

Sailors take off

Points per game, January versus February

Player — January — February

Team — 43 — 54

Ethan Riniker, sr.—  12.4 — 15.5

Jake Berry, jr. — 5.6 — 10.5

Tyler Doyne, so. — 2.4 — 6.25

Aden Knaus, so. — 0 — 5