Second-half stumbles sink Sailor boys
February 2, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — By the time the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team snapped out of a nasty third-quarter slump, it needed to be perfect to have a chance late in a crucial home game against Western Slope rival Battle Mountain.
The Sailors were merely "good" down the stretch, not great, and while they dug into a fat lead the Huskies built, they couldn't erase it, falling 63-52 and taking a step back in the Slope standings.
Steamboat trailed by just three points early in the third quarter, but fell behind by as many as 20 by the early part of the fourth.
It battled back to within seven but much of what had plagued the team all night — from inefficient possessions to turnovers — lingered late, bleeding away enough chances that in the end, the game wasn't salvageable.
"We didn't stick with what we usually do, our systems," coach Michael Vandahl said. "We started missing a few shots, shots that normally fall, and then we started quick shooting and it compounded upon itself. It was out of character from the way we've been playing."
The Sailors are still in second in the league after the game, the only team in the league with two losses. But, the team's chances of catching Glenwood Springs, atop the league with an 8-0 record, took a hit.
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Steamboat hits the road Saturday to play at Eagle Valley, the No. 4 team in the league, then has Glenwood in Steamboat on Thursday before closing the league slate at Rifle and home versus Summit.
The Sailors didn't handle the pressure of the league chase well when they fell behind Battle Mountain on Friday.
They followed up big Husky possessions with quick, poor shooting.
"We preach changing sides multiple times, shifting the defense. The times we did that tonight, and the times we've done that this season, we've been very successful with our offense," Vandahl said. "But this group at times fall sinto quick shooting and it hurts us. It really bit us tonight."
Steamboat, now 10-8 on the season and 5-2 in the league, was led by junior Tyler Doyne, who had 13 points. Mac Riniker had 12 and Ethan Pyles 11.
Battle Mountain, 11-8 and 6-3, was led by senior Devin Huffman's 15 points. Baker Gentry added 13.