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Steamboat boys take Huskies

Melinda Mawdsley

Henry Howard and Teal Taylor didn’t want their playing time to increase at the expense of an injured teammate, but the loss of Kyle Re forced the pair into more minutes and a more integral role Thursday night. Howard and Taylor took advantage, scoring a combined 16 points off the bench, as the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team rolled to an easy 60-35 win against Battle Mountain in the opening round of the District 6 tournament.

“Coach (Kelly Meek) told us that we had to turn it up a notch with Kyle being out,” Howard said. “We knew we had to bring our level of play up.”

Taylor said he approached the three days of practice leading up to Thursday’s game differently because he knew his play would be important to the team.

“I feel like I’m more in with the team, and I’ve been trying to prove myself,” Taylor said.

Battle Mountain got into the district tournament after upsetting Delta in Tuesday’s pig-tail game, and Meek said the Huskies were a dangerous team coming into Thursday’s game.

While Steamboat was without its starting point guard, Re, Battle Mountain played without its starting point guard, Kyle Leffler, who also is out with a hand injury. The Huskies responded well, hanging with the Sailors through the first 16 minutes.

Steamboat put together several runs in the first half, but Battle Mountain, behind sophomore Conner Drumm, refused to let the Sailors pull away. Then the third quarter came, and Steamboat prides itself on owning the third quarter.

The Sailors outscored the Huskies 19-4 in the third. Battle Mountain didn’t score until Steamboat got lazy with the basketball, and Derek Rush took the ball at mid-court and into the hoop for an easy lay-in with 1 minute, 45 seconds remaining.

“Coming off that Delta win, we knew they’d be strong,” Meek said. “That team is spooky because they are quick. … The kids were smart about what they were seeing.”

Drumm led all scorers Thursday with 16 points. Scott Peterson paced Steamboat with 10 points. Devin Borvansky added 10, while Taylor, Nick Monterotti and Howard had nine, eight and seven points, respectively. With the win, Steamboat is assured of no worse than a fourth-place finish in the district and a spot in next week’s playoffs. But the Sailors, as the top seed, are eyeing that district title.

Next up for Steamboat is a 4:45 p.m. game today against Palisade, a team that nearly upset the Sailors earlier this season, at Fruita-Monument High School.

Battle Mountain faces elimination at 4:45 p.m. today against Montrose in Palisade.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com


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