Sailors give it away in loss

Joel Reichenberger
A pack of Steamboat basketball players wrestle to try to secure a loose ball Thursday. They ended up keeping possession on the play thanks to the possession arrow, but it weren't as lucky on many other players as turnovers led the team to a loss.
Joel Reichenberger

The Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team has known more than its share of frustration in recent seasons, but Thursday night was a uniquely painful loss.

The Sailors built a big lead in the first half of their opening game in the Steamboat Shoot Out, dominating all the way into the third quarter. They watched it all evaporate, however, and Discovery Canyon rallied to win the game, 28-23.

Steamboat led 10-4 at halftime and 15-4 early in the third quarter. Then, the Thunder scored 19 of the next 21 points, taking a 23-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

The Sailors scored only two more baskets, both 3-point shots from sophomore Karly Lanning. One, midway through the fourth quarter, gave the team a ray of hope, making the score 23-20. The other came as the buzzer sounded to set the final score.

The problem was turnovers. Steamboat gave the ball away eight times during the first half. That’s not exactly good, but offset by the defense the team was playing and the effective way it moved the ball up and down the court, it was manageable.

It had 21 in the second half. Lazy passes got scooped up. Players stepped out of bounds. Thunder defenders would sometimes just rip the ball away.

“That’s the tale of the game,” coach Mack Spitellie said, considering the turnover disparity. “We quit doing what was successful, which was fighting together.”

The Sailors next play at 6:15 p.m. Friday against Elizabeth. Spitellie said there’s every chance his team could come out in that game and play well, despite the dreadful second half Thursday.

“If we play like we did in the first half for four quarters, win or lose, we’ll like the outcome,” he said. “When we play together, we’re very good, but when we don’t …”

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