Steamboat girls basketball players hang in despite tough season |

Steamboat girls basketball players hang in despite tough season

Steamboat Springs girls basketball coach George Ibarra greets his team on the sideline after Saturday’s 40-24 loss at home to Palisade.
Joel Reichenberger

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball coach George Ibarra gets the same question from all corners.

Is the locker room hanging together?

It’s an understandable query. The Sailors lost Saturday at home against Palisade, falling 40-24. It was their 39th consecutive loss, a streak dating back to February 2016.

After all that, are the girls still invested?

Very much, he said.

“I see a little bit of frustration, from coaches and players,” he said. “I never hear a word about anyone quitting. They just keep saying, ‘We’re going to get the next one.’ These girls are going to be very successful with that attitude.”

Saturday, Palisade got up early, taking a 15-6 lead in the first quarter, then pushing it to 22-8 by half.

Steamboat never threatened to get back in the game, but did play its best ball late.

Karly Lanning sank two 3-point shots in the fourth quarter, Steamboat’s best. The Sailors racked up 12 points there, greatly cutting into the Bulldog lead.

Lanning and Shelbee Weiss each had six points to lead Steamboat.

Alexandra MacAskill scored 13 to lead Palisade.

Ibarra said that double-digit fourth quarter was exactly the kind of fight he sees in his girls.

More competitive games are right around the corner. They’ll play at Summit, 4-9 and 1-2, next week. A year ago, Steamboat and Summit went into overtime, the closest the Sailors have come to snapping that streak.

Then Jan. 30 is Eagle Valley, 2-12 and 0-3.

Ibarra said it’s not all about that, however.

“The frustration I have is people keep looking at the win-loss column,” he said. “If they would look at what these girls have accomplished halfway through the season, they’d see. They’re going to be successful young ladies in our community. They’re going to become leaders. They’ll have the confidence to do what they want to do, step up, set that goal and do what they want to do, even if they hit hard times. They can keep working through it and turn it around.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.

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