Senior King sparks Sailors boys basketball in win over Delta
Steamboat Springs — Sometimes all it takes is for one player to catch his confidence, and the whole team feeds off of it.
Steamboat Springs High School senior Brody King was that player for the Sailors boys basketball team Saturday afternoon, and at times, it looked like his dribble-drive jumper couldn’t be stopped.
King rallied his team from a lackluster four-point first quarter to slide past visiting Delta, 41-33, and keep the Sailors’ win streak alive. Steamboat now has won six straight 4A Western Slope League games.
“He has such a good basketball IQ and knew of the openings and opportunities,” Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said about his senior captain. “Once he hit the first one, you could see his confidence go up.”
Delta — not widely known as the best Western Slope team, but certainly one of the more physical squads — came at the Sailors with its typical two-three zone defense, and Steamboat wavered a bit. The Panthers led 6-4 after eight minutes.
Then Steamboat woke up.
King scored eight of the Sailors’ 17 points in the second quarter, and on the other end of the court, Steamboat’s defense harassed Delta into eight second-quarter turnovers as the home squad opened up a 21-9 advantage at the half.
“We always start on defense. That’s what this program is built on,” Steamboat senior Jordan Frye said. “It all really started with Brody. He started feeling it. You can feel the vibes he puts off, and it makes us all better.”
Steamboat held Delta’s leading scorer Eian Baier (18 points per game) to just six points. Sailors big man Garrett Bye figured largely into Steamboat’s game plan heading in, DeWolfe said, and Bye answered with 13 points and six rebounds. King had a game-high 14 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists.
Delta was led in scoring by Lane Sanders and Isaac Fuller, who each had nine points. The Panthers’ 33 points were tied for the fewest they have scored all season.
“Defensively, we did a good job,” DeWolfe said. “We weren’t necessarily scoring, but at the same time, we were able to control them offensively. That made a big difference.”
Steamboat now enters its final week of the regular season with arguably the most important stretch of games to date. The Sailors have built a 13-4 record and are now in double digits in league wins.
They will host Battle Mountain (6-12) on Tuesday for senior night, the final regular-season home game of Steamboat’s nine seniors’ careers.
The team then will have just one day of practice before heading to Summit (4-14). The big game is Saturday at Glenwood Springs, the only team that has handed Steamboat a league loss this winter and the one that potentially holds the Sailors’ key to a Western Slope championship.
“We talked about it after this game that we want to build,” DeWolfe said. “We can’t be content with where we’re at.”
The Sailors’ game Tuesday against the Huskies tips off at 7:30 p.m.
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Time seemed to stop for Matthew Engle for a few seconds after he heard crunching metal last week while he was in downtown Steamboat Springs.