Steamboat girls fall to Palisade

Melinda Mawdsley

— No disrespect to the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team, but Palisade senior Christie Hunter said the Bulldogs did not show up to play Saturday night.

“We came here, not necessarily cocky, but knowing that we were up against a team that was not 16-0,” she said.

That undefeated team was Moffat County, which routed Palisade on Friday. Moffat County has been untouchable in Western Slope League play this season. After Friday night’s effort against Moffat County, Palisade didn’t have much spark in the first half Saturday.

“I’m tired,” Hunter said.

The Sailors took advantage of some slow Bulldog feet early, scoring 11 of their 13 first-quarter points from the free throw line. The Sailors were in the bonus with 2 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first quarter.

But the Sailors fell into a similar trap, playing defense with their arms and hips instead of with their feet. Forty-one fouls were called during Saturday’s game, preventing either offense from establishing continuity and forcing both coaches to substitute frequently.

“In the second half, we got more into a rhythm,” Hunter said.

Palisade had a 26-19 halftime lead, but Steamboat closed to within 28-26 with 2:58 left in the third quarter off a layup from senior Jessica Peters.

Bulldogs senior Kaitlyn Edminston converted a three-point play with 1:10 left, pushing Palisade back ahead by four.

Senior Tara King started the Sailors’ scoring at the 7:21 mark of the fourth quarter, but Steamboat never got closer than 33-28, as Palisade went on a 7-1 run during the next four minutes.

Sailors coach Ashley Berggren said she wants to see more offensive creativity. The team runs the set plays, but not everyone can adjust to the defense and work with the mismatches.

“We could set more off-ball screens,” she said. “That comes with knowing your teammates better. That comes with playing a lot and playing a lot together.”

And that is for the offseason. Right now, Steamboat is focused on righting its ship this year.

The Sailors picked up a 42-29 win against Delta on Friday. Senior Missy Chotvacs led the team with 14 points. Peters had eight, and senior Ann Barney, who was in foul trouble Saturday, also had eight against the Panthers.

On Saturday, Peters led the Sailors with 12 points; King had nine, and senior Brittany Rummel scored six points.

Up next for Steamboat is a 6 p.m. Friday game against Moffat County in Craig.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail

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