Steamboat boys look to avoid complacency in rest of season |

Steamboat boys look to avoid complacency in rest of season

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs High School basketball team head coach Kelly Meek talks to his players during practice Thursday at Steamboat Springs High School. The Sailors are seeking to avoid complacency during the rest of their season, as they prepare to face Delta at 7:30 p.m. today and Palisade at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at home.

— With the Western Slope League title all but locked up and a 25-game league winning streak in play, the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team now must avoid a pitfall faced by many elite teams – complacency.

Steamboat plays Delta at 7:30 p.m. today and Palisade at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Both games are at home.

“Being complacent is always a worry with kids, to be real honest,” Steamboat coach Kelly Meek said. “We don’t want them overlooking anything.”

But considering Steamboat already beat Delta and Palisade this season, Meek said it’s easy to assume the Sailors might be looking toward the postseason.

However, Meek said if Steamboat goes into either game thinking a win is a given, the Sailors “are going to have some problems.”

“They know we have something special going on here. I like the team. I like the camaraderie. They’re good to each other,” Meek said. “But the last thing they want to do is say ‘we’ve arrived’ and start patting themselves on the back. It’s ‘What can I do now to get better?'”

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Although Steamboat beat Delta, 69-40, earlier this year, Steamboat didn’t have as easy a time with Palisade. The Sailors trailed, 26-20, at halftime before surging in the second half behind 15 points from Michael Vandahl.

Meek said Palisade presents several problems with its speed, spread offense and balanced scoring attack.

Palisade runs an up-tempo offense based on driving to the basket and kicking the ball out for open shots.

“They don’t hesitate to take the 3,” Meek said. “Their offense is predicated heavily on the drive game. They’ve got a tough kid on the inside with a wide body. They have just any number of people that can strike you.”

Although Meek has been pleased with the effort so far this season, especially on defense, he said the one area Steamboat has to improve is rebounding. Part of getting better at rebounding, Meek said, is maintaining mental focus.

“If you’re looking out into the future, you’re not taking care of the business of who and now,” Meek said. “We have to bring that hard effort. If you don’t bring that hard effort, you’re not focused mentally.”

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

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