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Steamboat boys basketball earns first win over Woodland Park

Steamboat Springs junior Eric Pollert scores an early basket during a game against Woodland Park in the first round of the Steamboat Springs Shootout on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Shelby Reardon

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team’s game against Woodland Park was decided in eight minutes. The game was tied at 37 after three, so it would have to be won in the fourth.

The Sailors dug deep on defense to win 49-46 in the first round of the Steamboat Springs Shootout on Thursday, Dec. 12.

“We’re young, and we’re growing. We didn’t execute as well as I’d like in the late-game situations,” said Steamboat head coach Michael Vandahl. “I was happy with the way we stuck with it. We really moved the ball well, handled their pressure well.”

A three-point play from junior Tyger Ciccarelli put the Panthers up 40-37 in the first minute of the fourth. Sailors junior Eric Pollert had a chance to answer when he was fouled on a shot from underneath, but he missed the foul shot, keeping it a one-point game.

A pair of free throws and a layup from senior Ethan Pyles got the Sailors within one. Steamboat’s defense went into overdrive.

Steamboat players tipped an inbounds pass and stole the ball twice. Despite the effort, none of the turnovers resulted in a Sailors score. At least, not until junior Jackson Metzler threw himself on top of the ball. In the ensuing possession, senior Dawson Lindquist was patient in the paint waiting for a Panther to dive over him before taking the open shot, putting his team up 45-44.

Pyles sunk a free throw and hit a three to give Steamboat a 49-46 lead with 90 seconds to play. He led the Sailors with 15 points.

Steamboat Springs senior Ethan Pyles goes up for a breakaway layup during a game against Woodland Park in the first round of the Steamboat Springs Shootout on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Shelby Reardon

In his home varsity debut for the Sailors, the 6-foot-7 Pollert scored the first four points, introducing himself and dazzling the Steamboat faithful with his height and skills.

“It was nice to see Eric Pollert get some confidence and play well. The team’s kind of been waiting for that,” said Vandahl. “When he realizes how good he can be and puts it together, he’s something special.”

Three-point shots from junior Jackson Metzler and senior Connor Hansen contributed to a 19-point second quarter.

Thanks to Panthers senior Markus Eislein, Woodland Park outscored the Sailors 16-10 in the third quarter. Eislein netted 10 straight to turn a 31-26 deficit into a 37-37 tie going into the final frame. Eislein led all players with 18 points on the night.

Steamboat advances to the semifinal at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, to face the winner of the Conifer-Northridge game, which finished after press time.

Steamboat Springs 49, Woodland Park 46
WP 6  15 16 9 – 46
SS 8  19 10 12 – 49
SS: Eric Pollert 15, Ethan Pyles 12, Connor Hansen 8, Jackson Metzler 6, Dawson Lindquist 4, Kellen Adams 2. WP: Markus Eiselein 18, Sonny Ciccerilli 8.

Steamboat Springs boys basketball schedule
  • Dec. 5-7: Steamboat Springs at Preview Classic: L vs. Golden 82-59, L vs. Centaurus 63-45, L vs. Holy Family 52-45
  • Dec. 12-14: Steamboat Springs shootout, W vs. Woodland Park 49-46, L vs. Conifer 51-44, L vs. Colorado Academy 73-61
  • Dec. 17: Moffat County at Steamboat Springs, W 58-55
  • Dec. 21: Steamboat Springs at Mead, L 74-47
  • Jan. 2-4: Steamboat Springs at Roosevelt, 2-1
  • Jan. 11: Eagle Valley at Steamboat Springs, W 53-41
  • Jan. 17: Palisade at Steamboat Springs, W 44-41
  • Jan. 18: Rifle at Steamboat Springs, W 59-42
  • Jan. 21: Steamboat Springs at Battle Mountain, W 54-42
  • Jan. 25: Steamboat Springs at Glenwood Springs, L 58-44
  • Jan. 28: Steamboat Springs at Eagle Valley, W 61-59
  • Jan. 31: Summit at Steamboat Springs, W 48-33
  • Feb. 8: Steamboat Springs at Palisade, L 51-43
  • Feb. 13: Battle Mountain at Steamboat Springs, W 55-40
  • Feb. 15: Glenwood Springs at Steamboat Springs, 3:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 20: Steamboat Springs at Rifle, W 68-25
  • Feb. 22: Steamboat Springs at Summit, W 45-39
  • Feb. 26: No. 43 Mitchell at Steamboat Springs, L 47-44

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.


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