Summit closes the door on Steamboat girls basketball

Ben Ingersoll
Steamboat Springs senior Alex Bryant rises up for a shot late in the first half of the Sailors' 34-23 loss at home to Summit on Friday night. Bryant finished the game with five points and four rebounds.
Ben Ingersoll

— Take one quarter off against a team you realistically should beat and sometimes that’s all it takes to spell doom.

Ask the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team, which played about as sloppy as it could for 32 minutes and still was a few possessions away from stealing a late lead Friday night.

That was the case despite a scoreless third quarter during which the visiting Summit Tigers dropped seven very useful points and walked out of Kelly Meek Gymnasium with a 34-23 win.

“That was brutal,” Steamboat coach Mack Spitellie said plainly. “You can’t take quarters off.”

Spitellie pleaded with his team during the short break in between the third and fourth quarters, telling them, “I hope you got that out of your system.”

And they did — for the most part — as players like Alex Bryant, Maddie Clock and Jenna Miller sunk huge buckets to make it a one-possession game in the waning minutes.

But it wasn’t enough as a few stumbling possessions gave the Tigers the ball and they made the Sailors pay in an 11-point loss that was closer than the scoreboard indicated.

“I told them they played like they practiced the last two days,” Spitellie said. “We played well against Battle Mountain and we showed up here and didn’t. They work hard, but there’s just a lack of execution right now.”

It was perhaps Steamboat’s prime opportunity to earn two wins in a weeklong span after downing Battle Mountain on the road Tuesday, 47-39. Summit came into Friday with just three wins and none in the last 42 days.

The Sailors, though, never could seem to find a rhythm on either side of the floor. The shots were there, they just didn’t fall, and the defense responded at opportune times, but Steamboat couldn’t get its hands on critical rebounds down the stretch.

“Offensively we weren’t there and defensively we couldn’t match up the entire game,” Spitellie said. “We couldn’t even run all of our defensive sets because we seemed to always be lost.”

Megan Limberg led Steamboat in scoring with a pair of first-half 3-pointers for six points. Bryant finished with five points and four rebounds, Clock had four points and seven rebounds, and Miller had four points.

The Tigers were led by sophomore Natalie Gray, who poured in a game-high nine points. Senior Brittany Berry cleaned up things under the hoop, scoring six herself along with 11 rebounds.

The loss drops the Sailors to 4-9 overall and 1-6 in the 4A Western Slope League. Steamboat will travel to fourth-place Rifle on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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