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Without a scratch

Sailors hope to remain perfect in league play

Steamboat Springs High School's Aaron Calkins paced the Sailors with 22 points in Steamboat's victory against rival Moffat County earlier this season. The two teams square off again tonight in Craig.
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— The road to the league title will take the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team into hostile territory tonight.

Still undefeated in the Western Slope League, the Sailors (15-3 overall, 10-0 in league play) make the 45-minute trip west to play rival Moffat County at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be important how well we communicate with each other,” Sailors coach Kelly Meek said. “It’s going to be loud. We’re looking at a large crowd, maybe 2,500 people.”



Despite a 66-34 Sailors win against the Bulldogs earlier in the year, Meek said he’s confident his team isn’t overlooking Moffat County.

“Are we thinking about last time we played them? No way,” Meek said. “Things can change in a heartbeat.”



Today’s game against Mof-

fat County (5-12, 3-7) and Saturday’s road contest at Eagle Valley (4-14, 4-7) mark the second straight weekend the Sailors have played away from home.

Meek said the sign of a good team – and a potential league champion – is playing well on the road.

Steamboat has won all four of its road games against league opponents this year.

“No. 1 is (that) the league title is going to be won on the road,” Meek said. “We have to go there this weekend and take care of business.”

Fortunately for the Sailors, they’ll have a relative healthy squad tonight. It will be a far cry from last weekend, when four of the team’s starters were nursing injuries or illnesses. Meek said the Sailors are now close to 100 percent.

Against Moffat County and Eagle Valley, Meek said it will be important for the Sailors to control the tempo of the games, because both the Bulldogs and Devils like to get up and down the court.

Against Moffat County – a team that will go nine players deep – and Eagle Valley, Meek said the last thing Steamboat wants to do is get into a shootout.

“For us it will be about getting off to a good start on both sides of the floor,” he said. “We need to stop their offensive transition and maintain consistency on defense and wrap up defensive possessions with rebounding.”

On the girls side, Steamboat coach John Ameen knows the Sailors (1-16, 1-9) are in for a tough game today against Moffat County, the fourth-ranked team in the state.

“Watching the film from the last time we played, we didn’t play very well at all,” he said. “Defensively it was fine. We just couldn’t find an offensive rhythm.”

Ameen said he’s seen offensive improvement in the past few weeks and expects the Sailors to come out “a lot more smooth” against the Bulldogs (17-2, 9-1).

Against Eagle Valley (1-17, 0-11) – the only team Steamboat has beat this year – Ameen said he knows his team can play better than the first time the Sailors downed the Devils, 48-36.

“We want to finish the season strong and on a positive note,” he said. “All season it’s been we play well one night and the next night I don’t know who is out there. Hopefully in these final four games of the season we can show that we’ve improved.”


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