Home advantage: Sailors basketball, hockey teams host playoff games this week | SteamboatToday.com

Home advantage: Sailors basketball, hockey teams host playoff games this week

Steamboat Springs junior Cade Gedeon steals the ball in the fourth quarter versus Eagle Valley. Despite Steamboat keeping the score close throughout the game, Eagle Valley escaped with a 52-44 victory on Thursday, Feb. 17. The Sailors will host a first-round playoff game on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m.
Eli Pace/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team ended its regular season with a three-game skid, but the rest of the year went well, so despite the losses, the Sailors are in the playoffs and hosting a first-round game on Wednesday, Feb. 23.

The No. 23 Sailors will host No. 42 Coronado at 6 p.m. at Kelly Meek Gym, marking the 16th straight year the Sailors have made the playoffs and the sixth straight year they’ve hosted a first-round game.

Coronado’s 7-16 record isn’t terrifying, but the 13-9 Sailors should still be prepared for a higher-scoring contest, as the Cougars average about 60 points per game.

Steamboat’s defense has kept every opponent but Golden under 60 points this year, even in the losses. However, in the last three losses from Feb. 12-17, the offense has been falling a little short.

“I think it was one of the better things that could have happened to us,” said senior Parker Lindquist. “It was like a wakeup call. We got to get it together.”

Lindquist said the team started to play more like individuals, rather than as a team, and slipped out of their typical ways. As an upperclassman and one of the players with the most varsity experience, Lindquist hopes he can guide the younger players through the playoffs.

“I need to make sure everyone is present, and we don’t let the moment get to us,” he said. “I know how it was my first time in. I kind of had a few mess ups.”

Shots haven’t been falling for a typically hot and confident, sharpshooting Sailors roster either. Getting back into a groove after a stint like that can be hard.

“One, we just got to believe in our shots,” coach Michael Vandahl said. “No. 2, we got to play smarter offense. We got into a habit of taking quick shots and not setting screens and doing the stuff we’ve done in the past.”

Senior Daniel Raper thinks the ship has been righted, and the team is ready to play well on both sides of the court.

“Our team is, of course, super confident. We’re always rolling going into the playoff, but we’ve been on kind of a downfall lately,” Raper said. “We’ve practiced really hard this last week, and we’re definitely ready to go into the playoffs. We have the right mindset. Our team’s locked in. We’re all together. We’re definitely ready for this game.”

Sailors hockey

The No. 4 Sailors hockey team is also hosting a playoff game on Friday, Feb. 25, and will play Summit at 6:30 p.m. at Howelsen Ice Arena.

Like the basketball team, the Steamboat hockey team has had a tough conclusion to the regular season, losing their last two games last weekend.

On Friday, Feb. 18, Steamboat lost to No. 2 Battle Mountain 5-2 at home. Previously this season, Steamboat won 6-3 over the Huskies.

The next day, Summit used three second-period goals to beat the Sailors 4-3. Steamboat has also defeated the Tigers earlier in the season.

That concluded Steamboat’s regular season schedule. With a 10-7-1 record, Steamboat landed the No. 4 seed in 4A.

The recent battle and playoff atmosphere should make for a great game when the Sailors host Summit, which ended up with the No. 5 seed.

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