Sailors boys basketball falls to No. 7 Centaurus in round of 16

Steamboat Springs junior basketball player Cade Gedeon plots his next move during a first-round playoff game against Coronado on Wednesday, Feb. 23. Steamboat’s season came to an end with a 54-32 loss in the round of 16 against No. 7 Centaurus.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team scored just five points in the second quarter against Centaurus on Wednesday. In a regular season game, the Sailors could probably recover. But Wednesday’s game was a round-of-16 game in the Colorado High School Activities Association 4A basketball playoffs.

The cold spell doomed the No. 23 Sailors, as No. 7 Centaurus used a 15-0 run in the second to catapult to a 54-32 victory.

“We gave it everything we had,” said Steamboat coach Michael Vandahl. “A couple things didn’t bounce our way, and at this level, you’re in the sweet 16. If things don’t bounce your way and you make a couple mistakes, the other team will really capitalize and make you pay for it.”

Steamboat had a strong first quarter, keeping pace with the Warriors. Senior Daniel Raper used a 3-pointer to give the Sailors a 3-2 lead. Sophomore Brady Adams kept it close at 10-8 with a score and Steamboat trailed 13-11.

Everything changed in the second quarter. Centaurus caught fire faster than a cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol.

Centaurus senior Kevin Bedford’s dunk emphasized the offensive onslaught, putting his team up 25-11. Senior John Lewicki hit a 3-pointer to cap the run and balloon the lead to 30-11.

In the final minute of the first half, Adams stopped the streak with a layup, and senior Parker Lindquist used a 3-pointer to keep the halftime advantage to 30-16.

“They’re long. They’re big. They’re physical,” Vandahl said. “There’s a reason they’re the seven seed. They got size all over the place. They’re athletic and quick and that bothered us. It got us out of our game.”

The Sailors couldn’t keep Warriors big men Bedford and Lewicki under control. The pair were everywhere, scoring, rebounding and blocking.

Originally, the plan was to double-team Bedford, but once a lead developed, Steamboat had to switch objectives and start pressing on defense.

“That obviously opens up lanes for easier baskets for them to score,” Vandahl said. “The game plan didn’t really go as planned, but that’s kind of the way it goes sometimes.”

Nevertheless Vandahl was proud. Of all the teams he’s coached, he feels particularly proud of this one because of how far they got in spite of injuries and other challenges throughout the season.

The 2021-22 Sailors were led by five seniors: Raper, Lindquist, Ben Bogan, Kellen Adams and Clark Derning. They helped a team with just two returning starters win nine straight, overcome losing the last three games of the season, and make it to the Sweet 16.

Additionally, Kellen Adams, Lindquist and junior Cade Gedeon were named to the all-conference team. Ben Bogan was an honorable mention.

No. 7 Centaurus 54, No. 23 Steamboat Springs 32

SS 11 5 9 7 – 32

C 13 17 18 6 – 54

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