Steamboat Springs girls basketball win streak comes to an end against Palisade
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team just couldn’t come up with the points to continue its winning streak on Saturday.
The Sailors (5-13, 3-4) have been riding a three-game winning streak and were ready to redeem a 38-30 loss to the Palisade Bulldogs (6-12, 4-3) from Jan. 11. But careless mistakes in an aggressive performance would cost them, leading to a 41-30 loss to the Bulldogs.
“Overall, I’m proud of them,” Sailors head coach George Ibarra said. “I think what hurt us is the Bulldogs ended up shooting 36 free throws and made 17 of them, we lose by 11 and they made 17 points on free throws. Defensively, we played well but we fouled a lot. Those silly fouls of always reaching in every time. I know we’re always trying to get steals, but there’s a right time and a wrong time to do it.”
Steamboat held the edge at the end of the first quarter, leading 10-8, but the Bulldogs woke up in the second quarter, scoring 15 points to the Sailors’ six to take a 23-16 lead.
The flashes of potential were once again there: steals and fast breaks down the court, but missed layups and incomplete passes seemed to turn the Sailors running back to defense every time.
“I don’t get frustrated with it. We go back to practice on Monday and we try to correct it,” Ibarra said. “That’s how we approach it every game.”
While a height difference is something that can’t be helped, it’s something than can be overcome with speed and agility, but the speed has to be controlled and purposeful. The Bulldogs boasted a clear height advantage over the Sailors, but shooting still wasn’t their strong suit, averaging 23.5 points per game while the Sailors actually were ahead, averaging 24.1 points per game.
“I think that’s something everyone really looked at when they walked in the door there,” Ibarra said. “We knew they were tall, but I think our basketball skills are better. That’s how we get the advantage, but it’s tough. We always try to counter with speed. It worked for a little while, but sometimes you’re going to get beat down there.
But there were several instances where the Sailors couldn’t take advantage of breakaway opportunities to make a simple layup, and if they were able to capitalize on those opportunities, the scoreboard would’ve read differently. One shot was made by Bulldogs senior Alexandra MacAskill after a Sailor saved a ball from going out of bounds, only to pass it straight to her to make a shot from right underneath the basket.
At the end of the third quarter, the Sailors were looking for a change of luck.
Steamboat junior Katie Lake received a pass to the outside, taking a shot from just inside the arc on the far right side of the basket to make a buzzer-beating shot. The Sailors were down 33-23, but the shot ignited a fire within the team.
With less than three minutes left in the game, the Sailors held the Bulldogs to two free-throws, while scoring five points to narrow the gap, 35-28.
With two minutes left, junior Sailor Jaycee May was sent to the basket for a 1 on 1, but the shot circled the inside of the rim and flew out. The Bulldogs started to find the basket again, pulling ahead 40-30.
In the end, the Sailors fell to the Bulldogs 41-30. Lake finished with a team-high of 10 points. Sailors senior Lucy Shimek, junior Jaycee May and junior Shelbee Weiss each had four points.
The Sailors travel to Battle Mountain on Tuesday, Feb. 5, then return home to play Battle Mountain on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and will go to Glenwood Springs next Saturday, Feb. 9.
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