Seeding is just a number: No. 23 Sailors upset No. 10 Green Mountain, advance to round of 16 |

Seeding is just a number: No. 23 Sailors upset No. 10 Green Mountain, advance to round of 16

The Steamboat Springs bench reacts to a 3-pointer in the first half of a first-round playoff game against Coronado on Wednesday, Feb. 23. The Sailors followed the game with a win over No. 10 Green Mountain, advancing to the sweet 16.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

With a 45-28 lead, the No. 23 Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team was one quarter away from cruising to a second-round 4A playoff win over No. 10 Green Mountain.

Green Mountain was the No. 10 seed for a reason, though. They were capable of going on a run at any moment. The Rams did just that in the fourth, scoring 20 points while holding the Sailors to just six. The surge was too little, too late, though.

Green Mountain got within one, 49-48, but a pair of free throws from Steamboat senior Kellen Adams kept the Rams at bay and secured the 51-48 win on Saturday, Feb. 26.

“It wasn’t that we were playing bad. They made a run,” said Steamboat coach Michael Vandahl “That’s going to happen at a home team’s gym in the playoffs against a good team like that. We had played well enough to build that lead to kind of withstand it.”

The Sailors went in knowing they had a higher seed than the Rams, but the team didn’t consider itself an underdog. By the time playoffs come around, seeding means little and anything can happen.

“I don’t think we put any weight in seeding,” Vandahl said. “Now that we’re in the second round and sweet 16, every team’s good. The seed only determines if you play at home or not. I’m just excited with where we’re at. There’s not much pressure on us.”

Through the first three quarters, Steamboat played just as Vandahl hoped they would.

The Sailors developed a 16-13 lead through the first and grew that advantage to 33-21 going into the locker rooms at halftime.

Steamboat continued to add to the lead, outscoring Green Mountain 12-7 in the third to lead by 17 with just one quarter to go.

Of course, that’s when the home team got hot.

Rams senior Luke Davis threw up a last-ditch 3-pointer to try to tie the game, but it careened off the backboard. Junior Jon Lord fell over flinging the ball up one last time before the buzzer, but he too missed and laid back on the floor in front of the Green Mountain bench as the Sailors celebrated.

“Our team, we faced a lot of adversity throughout the year with injuries and stuff like that,” Vandahl said. “I think we’re finally full strength and healthy and this is the team we expected to see from the beginning. I think all the adversity we faced throughout the season helped us in this game.”

Steamboat will travel to face No. 7 Centaurus in the round of 16 on Wednesday, March 2. Centaurus is 19-5, averages 51 points per game, which is a smidge less than Steamboat’s average of 52.5. Steamboat picks up about 28 rebounds, while Centaurus averages 26.

The only figures on their stat sheets that aren’t extremely similar are the seeds. And those are nothing more than a number.

No. 23 Steamboat Springs 51, No. 10 Green Mountain

GM 13 8 7 20 – 48

SS 16 17 12 6 – 51

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