Team play pushes Steamboat hoops to new levels | SteamboatToday.com

Team play pushes Steamboat hoops to new levels

Luke Graham

Alex Wood, left, looks to the basket past defender Charles Wood during the Sailors' basketball practice in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday afternoon. The Sailors will host a second round playoff game against Fort Morgan at 7 p.m. Friday.

— When Steamboat Springs High School basketball player Colby Kostur thinks back to how many times he’s driven U.S. Highway 40 from Hayden to Steamboat the past four years, he chuckles.

The Hayden resident isn’t sure of the exact number of times, but Kostur said a majority of those trips have come from basketball.

The senior has been on Steamboat’s varsity team since his freshman year. Kostur said at the end of his sophomore year, his car had 63,000 miles on it. Now it has more than 90,000.

But Kostur said he wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s played with most of his teammates since his eighth-grade year. When it comes to the Sailors’ success the past two years, Kostur said a big portion – not just his – comes from the team’s chemistry.

“We have something special,” Kostur said. “I guess you could say it takes that much dedication, but I’m happy to put it in. It’s worth it.”

As Steamboat prepares to open up the playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday, at home against Fort Morgan – who upset Centaurus, 50-46, on Tuesday – the team’s chemistry could be the catalyst to a deep run.

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“A big strength is our camaraderie. Our teamism,” Meek said. “It’s how well they treat each other. They have high expectations. They have them for each other, not just themselves.”

Maybe the best example of this has been the emergence of seniors Ryan Shaw and Connor Moore into the starting lineup. Neither Moore nor Shaw came into the season starting, and neither saw a large number of minutes early in the year. But after a starter was dismissed and Aaron Calkins went down with an injury, the two guards not only filled in, but also excelled.

Every opponent knew the focal point of Steamboat’s offense would be Michael Vandahl, Calkins and Kostur. But with the emergence of Shaw and Moore, the Sailors completed their second consecutive undefeated Western Slope League schedule. They enter the playoffs as a No. 2 seed.

“We just kept a good mindset,” Moore said. “We knew there could be an injury and as long as we play hard in practice, we’ll play. The Aarons, the Mikes, the Colbys, they make it really easy. They are always helping you and letting you know what you need to do.”

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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