Sailors snag victory
Steamboat boys beat Palisade by six to win 13th straight game
One night after upending Moffat County in Craig, the Palisade boys basketball team traveled east, determined to send Steamboat Springs to the same fate Saturday, but for the 13th consecutive game, the Sailors found a way to win.
And in the process, the team may have become even stronger overall.
Junior Cameron Burney, a starter last season, has spent a majority of the season on the bench, and Steamboat (13-2 overall, 8-0 in league) has found ways to win without him.
Saturday, coach Kelly Meek gave Burney a chance to help the team, and Burney responded with a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in Steamboat Springs’ 56-49 win against Palisade.
Burney and Kyle Re knocked down six free throws in the game’s final 37 seconds to preserve the win and keep the Sailors undefeated in league play and on track for the Western Slope League Championship.
“Coach just got done talking about teamism,” senior Devin Borvansky said after the win. “That is the theme with this group. We’re not unbeatable. On any night you can be beaten, but we feel like it’s about the team — everything I do needs to get better. If you get satisfied, it starts to drop.”
Borvansky spoke on behalf of his teammates when he stressed the need for each individual to not be satisfied, and the Sailors made mistakes — even down the stretch — that could have cost them the game Saturday.
In the final 1:33, Steamboat, with the lead, committed turnovers and fouls that gave Palisade hope for the upset. With 49 seconds left, senior Jake Moore stood at the line with a chance to pull the Bulldogs to within one, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Palisade never got closer.
“They lose poise so quickly, but then they maintain it,” Meek said of his team’s knack for winning close games. “I sound like a broken record, but seldom do we have any guy take a defensive break. We’ll make mistakes, but we play hard.”
And that is the only way to get playing time under Meek. Hard work trumps talent, he said.
Re led Steamboat offensively Saturday with 14 points, including 10 in the second half. Burney chipped in with 10, while sophomore Scott Peterson and senior Nick Monterotti each had eight points.
Senior Ryan Farlow scored a game-high 19 points for Palisade. Senior Brian Austin added 11 for the visiting Bulldogs.
Steamboat’s JV team fell to Palisade 38-40.
The Sailors’ bid to remain undefeated in league play resumes at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against rival Moffat County. Steamboat beat Moffat County by one Jan. 23.
“I’ve heard they want to break the attendance record,” Borvansky said. “We’re expecting 3,000.”
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