Steamboat basketball falls at home as league play approaches |

Steamboat basketball falls at home as league play approaches

Devon Meeks, special to the Steamboat Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs high school boys basketball team welcomed Fruita Monument High School to town, but said goodbye with the bitter taste of defeat, losing 72-58.

The Sailors efforts to make a comeback were doused by lapses in the team’s defense.

We were not where we needed to be defensively today,” coach Michael Vandahl said. “We pride ourselves on defense, and I believe your defense can still win you games when your offense isn’t getting shots to fall. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case tonight.” 

The team was missing one notable defender, Quinn Connell, but that wasn’t the team’s only problem.

“Tonight we were missing Quinn, who has been big for us this year. We also had a couple guys have off games, which happens,” Vandahl said. “These guys have a lot of experience and I’m confident we will bounce back in league play.”

Steamboat is the defending Western Slope champions and will be looking to repeat that achievement with much of the same cast it had a year ago having eight upperclassmen on the team.

That process actually already started earlier in the week with a 42-27 win on the road against Battle Mountain, but the league schedule will kick into high gear starting Tuesday with a trip to play at Glenwood Springs.

“One thing we are going to work on going into league play, as a team, is sticking to our scouting reports of opponents,” Vandahl said. “Tonight we were a little lazy with a couple of their guys and let them get shots they shouldn’t. With the bulk of league play coming up, and everyone playing each other twice a year, we know these teams. I expect us to perform well.”

Though the team sputtered, there were still stand out performers. Mac Riniker putting in a sparkling performance that included 31 points and 7 steals. Another bright spot for the Sailors was Ethan Pyles, a sophomore chipped in 15 points.

The loss drops Steamboat to 6-6 on the season.

The Steamboat Springs high school girls team also fell, but to Grand Junction, losing 46-22. The squad were led by Lana Pivarnik with 6 points. The girls also resume their season Tuesday at Glenwood.

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