Steamboat girls nearly defeat Northridge |

Steamboat girls nearly defeat Northridge

Steamboat Springs High School junior Erica Simmons dribbles the ball into the front court during the first round of the Steamboat Shootout on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Shelby Reardon

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With about 15 seconds left in the game against Northridge, Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Samantha Campbell scored her 16th point of the game. On her 16th birthday of all days.

Unfortunately, her game-high total wasn’t enough to put the Sailors on top. The Grizzlies won 36-34 in the first round of the Steamboat Springs Shootout on Thursday, Dec. 12.

The Sailors trailed Northridge 9-2 after the first quarter, but once Steamboat made a few shots, the team gained confidence and started shooting better. All it took was Campbell to score two straight to get the home team going.

“I think it was nerves. I really do,” said Sailors head coach George Ibarra. “That’s the reason I called that timeout within two, three minutes. … I asked them to take a deep breath. ‘I know it’s the first game of the season at home, you’re fired up, you want to show everybody what you can do.'”

Junior Erica Simmons knocked in a 3-pointer to bring Steamboat within one, 14-13. Campbell banked two more off the glass following inbound passes from Simmons, tying the game at 16. A pair of foul shots from Simmons ensured the contest was knotted at 18 at the half.

When the teams returned to the floor after the break, Northridge put up six straight points before Steamboat sank another. In the final minute of the third, the Sailors woke up as Campbell and senior Jaycee May added buckets from below the basket.

Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Samantha Campbell scores under pressure from a Northridge player during the first round of the Steamboat Shootout on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Shelby Reardon

In the first 45 seconds of the fourth, Campbell added another to make it a one possession game. A deep two from junior Rose Epstein cut the deficit to 29-28 with six minutes to play. Campbell earned Steamboat a 30-29 lead a minute later.

“Sam is young, she’s just a sophomore, but she’s an amazing player,” said Ibarra. “She’s learning. Every game she plays, she gets more experience and more confidence.”

With 2:05 left to play, Steamboat trailed 33-30. With the jump ball in their favor, May snagged the ball while in the hands of a Grizzlie and clung on to draw a whistle. Epstein scored to pull within one, 33-32.

A intentional foul call that seemed to surprise everyone in the room sent Northridge freshman Katy Jo Werner to the line. She made just one of her two attempts.

Steamboat had multiple chances to win it, but couldn’t make shots when they needed to most.

“They’d steal it, but we don’t finish. It’s hard, but I was glad to see that we stuck together,” said Ibarra.

The Sailors will do battle with Soroco at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, in the consolation bracket.

Northridge 36, Steamboat Springs 34
N 9 9 11 7 — 36
SS 2 16 6 10 — 34
SS: Sam Campbell 16, Jaycee May 6, Erica Simmons 5, Rose Epstein 4, Shelbee Weiss 3.
N: S. Martinez 16.

Steamboat Springs girls basketball schedule

  • Dec. 6-7: Steamboat Springs at Roaring Fork, L vs. Coal Ridge 41-12, L vs. Roaring Fork 52-34
  • Dec. 12-14: Steamboat Springs shootout, L vs. Northridge 36-34, L vs. Soroco 44-34
  • Dec. 17: Moffat County at Steamboat Springs, L 44-25
  • Dec. 21: Steamboat Springs at Mitchell, L 38-29
  • Jan. 2-4: Steamboat Springs at Roosevelt, 1-2
  • Jan. 11: Eagle Valley at Steamboat Springs, W 44-38
  • Jan. 17: Palisade at Steamboat Springs, L 29-24
  • Jan. 18: Rifle at Steamboat Springs, L 41-32
  • Jan. 21: Steamboat Springs at Battle Mountain, W 34-30
  • Jan. 25: Steamboat Springs at Glenwood Springs, L 52-21
  • Jan. 28: Steamboat Springs at Eagle Valley, W 50-38
  • Jan. 31: Summit at Steamboat Springs, W 43-37
  • Feb. 8: Steamboat Springs at Palisade, L 35-33
  • Feb. 13: Battle Mountain at Steamboat Springs, W 40-31
  • Feb. 15: Glenwood Springs at Steamboat Springs, 2 p.m.
  • Feb. 20: Steamboat Springs at Rifle, 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 22: Steamboat Springs at Summit, 12:30 p.m.

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

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