Moffat County girls stun Steamboat Springs in season opener |

Moffat County girls stun Steamboat Springs in season opener

Belize Berry, a player on the Steamboat Springs High School basketball team, passes to a teammate during a game against Moffat County on Tuesday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team is still figuring out how to play with one another. Fortunately for them, there is a lot of season left after a 16-54 loss in the season opener against Moffat County on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs developed a 13-0 lead in the opening minutes. Moffat County faced little resistance from the Sailors defense as the Bulldogs moved the ball quickly. They passed three or four times around the outside, which was enough to find a wide open player, who scored.

Meanwhile, Steamboat had trouble maintaining possession. Passes were just off their mark. A Bulldog was always there to scoop it up and run it back up the court. Once again, the Bulldogs moved the ball quickly, passing three or four times before scoring.

“We didn’t shoot the ball very well today,” Bulldogs head coach Eric Hamilton said. “But yeah, we played well. I thought we played hard. First game jitters a little bit, but we played a little bit better in the second half”

That pattern resulted in a 19-6 advantage after one quarter and a 31-12 lead at the half.

Senior forward Caroline McLaughlin got a few offensive chances for the Sailors in the first. Her height allowed her teammates to pass high into her hands. She scored the first four points for Steamboat.

With 3:55 left in the game, Steamboat senior Caroline Henninger entered the game, logging her first-ever moments in a varsity game. The newcomer has a season goal of scoring a point. She didn’t Tuesday, but she was a great presence on defense, making shots more difficult for the Bulldogs. In the last few minutes of the third quarter, Steamboat forced back-to-back turnovers but couldn’t answer with a basket. On the next possession, Henninger snagged the rebound and earned Steamboat possession with a jump ball.

Moffat County senior Halle Hamilton directs the Bulldogs offense during a game at Steamboat Springs on Tuesday night.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Still, the Sailors couldn’t score.

“We learned we need to be more aggressive,” said Steamboat Springs head coach George Ibarra. “We wrote down all the positives. I didn’t want to talk about the negatives. I don’t want to really discuss that, but we didn’t come out aggressive enough. It wasn’t until the second half that we came around. … The score doesn’t reflect the way we played, I feel like.”

The defensive improvements from the home team kept the Bulldogs off the board for minutes at a time, but poor shots earned Steamboat just two points in the quarter.

Both the Steamboat and Moffat County teams will look to improve and sharpen their skill at tournaments this weekend.

“We need to slow down,” Ibarra said. “We were trying to play too fast. We’re not there yet. I think we will be there. Give us another four, five games, we’ll be there.”

Moffat County 54, Steamboat Springs 16

MC 19 12 12 11 – 54

SS 6 6 2 2 – 16

Steamboat Springs Girls Basketball Schedule

Nov. 30 - vs. Moffat County, L 54-16

Dec. 4 - Roaring Fork Tournament, L 59-21

Dec. 9-11 - Steamboat Shootout, W 48-36, L 53-25, L 60-18

Dec. 17-18 - Gunnison Tournament, L 53-30, L 46-33

Jan. 6 - at Coal Ridge, L 53-27

Jan. 14 - vs. Palisade, W 43-34

Jan. 15 - vs. Rifle, W 35-31

Jan. 20 - at Battle Mountain, W 39-37

Jan. 22 - at Glenwood Springs, 12:30 p.m.

Jan. 25 - at Eagle Valley, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 28 - at Summit, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 2 - vs. Summit, 6 p.m.

Feb. 4 - at Rifle, 6 p.m.

Feb. 5 - at Palisade, 12:30 p.m.

Feb. 8 - vs. Battle Mountain, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 12 - vs. Glenwood Springs, 12:30 p.m.

Feb. 17 - vs. Eagle Valley, 5:30 p.m.

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