Steamboat girls shoot to avoid winless season in final game |

Steamboat girls shoot to avoid winless season in final game

— It would seem like there wouldn’t be much left to say with the end of the season approaching and the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball still sitting winless at 0-21 at the time, but late last week, Sailors coach George Ibarra saw a need.

He'd overheard a player comment that she'd wanted to win so badly she was afraid of making a mistake.

Even staring a winless season in the face — which the team could avoid with a good game at their home finale at 5:30 p.m. Thursday — that "afraid to make a mistake" attitude was something that couldn't be ignored.

"Don't be afraid to make mistake," Ibarra told the team. "Correct it."

The Sailors made plenty of mistakes on Tuesday in their penultimate game. They also did more than a few things right, especially in the first half when they held their deficit against a powerful Rifle team to just three points.

The Bears scored just two points in the second quarter, and things were decidedly tight into the third quarter.

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Rifle roared in the second half and went on to win, 41-22, but it was another game the Sailors, 0-22, left feeling like they'd taken a step.

"They're a great team. and it meant a lot to the girls to be close in the first half," Ibarra said. "Part of it is not being in shape. You can see it as the game goes on. That's something we'll definitely be trying to correct for next year."

Seniors Raya Duryea and Kady Look, who will take their final bows on their home court Thursday, each scored nine points. Sophomore Lucy Shimek and junior Erica Moos each had two.

Elly Walters scored 15 to lead Rifle.

The Bears led 15-12 at half but scored 17 in the third quarter and nine in the fourth to blow the game open. Steamboat managed five in each of those quarters.

The Sailors head into Thursday's game hoping to avenge their closest loss of the season, a 36-35 defeat at Summit that wasn't decided until overtime.

Can Steamboat beat Summit, 4-18? The Sailors are certainly hoping to just that, but more than anything, Ibarra wants to ensure the team isn't afraid to try.

"I don't get upset if we lose or if we make a mistake," he said. "I want us to learn from it. Make mistakes, then learn what you need to do to correct it."

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