Steamboat boys basketball beats Palisade, 42-27 |

Steamboat boys basketball beats Palisade, 42-27

— Kit Croop came off the bench to score a career-high 15 points, and the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team imposed its will on Palisade for a 42-27 win in Kelly Meek Gymnasium on Friday night.

The win reversed an earlier 47-44 loss to the Bulldogs and solidified Steamboat’s hold on second place in the Western Slope League standings.

Sailors head coach Luke DeWolfe said his team knew from experience that Palisade wanted to slash its way to the basket, and the Sailors responded by denying the Bulldogs access to the paint as they alternated between man-to-man and zone defenses.

Defense is becoming the Sailors’ hallmark.

“That’s where we’ve been. We held Eagle Valley to 25 points and Palisade to 27 in our last two games,” DeWolfe said.

Croop came to the fore midway through the second quarter after Palisade made a 6-point run to cut the Sailors’ lead to 15-14.

Croop drove the lane for a layup then dropped a 3-pointer on the Bulldogs that bumped the lead back to 20-14. Before the half ended, it was Croop again, cruising into the lane for a one-handed scoop shot that sent Steamboat into the locker room leading 24-14.

He finished the half with 11 points.

“It came easily,” he said afterward. “It helps when you have Isiah (Mendoza-Forsyth), Charles (Wood) and Randall (Nelson) spreading the floor.”

Justin Anderson ignited the rally that put Palisade away late in the third quarter with a 3-pointer from the top of the key that gave his team its biggest lead at 33-23. Croop executed a steal and drove the length of the floor for a layup before Wood snuck in a 3-point shot of his own at the buzzer.

It was 38-25 at the start of the fourth quarter and everyone in the gym, including the Bulldogs, seemed to know the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

The Sailors boys now are 13-7 overall and 8-2 in league play.

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