Sailors boys win intense game over Bulldogs, avenging ugly football loss
Steamboat Springs High School senior Cade Gedeon tore down the court on Tuesday night. He split right as he neared the basket but deceived his defender, passing the ball with his right hand behind his back. Junior Ethan Hoy collected the perfectly placed pass at the top of the key. He took a step toward the net and paused, allowing his defender to flail by him. Then, he stepped twice and scored. The basket put Steamboat up 25-24 with seconds left in the first half against Moffat County.
“Ethan’s been my best friend for like 10 years,” Gedeon said. “That was so much fun. That play, that’s probably one of my favorite plays of my life. It was a really special moment and that got us going.”
The play developed some momentum for the home team in a game in which no one had yet established an upper hand. Steamboat stayed on top in the second half and won 56-52, enacting revenge on the same Bulldog boys that defeated the Sailors football team 50-0 in the fall.
Michael Vandahl said there were plenty of jitters since much of the team had never played varsity basketball.
“To have that big crowd, both teams were a little disjointed. It’s the first game,” Vandahl said. “I was really proud of the way we played with toughness. That’s a big physical team.”
Offense was like a snowball rolling downhill, growing over time. The Bulldogs scored 11, then 13, then 16 as they found a rhythm. Steamboat scored 9, then 16, then 21 in the third, in which the Sailors took a consistent lead.
Gedeon, who was troubled by his 3-pointer in the first half, nailed a deep shot to give Steamboat a 28-26 lead early in the third. He followed with a breakaway layup to make it 30-26.
The Bulldogs regained a 36-35 advantage, but it didn’t last long.
Sailors junior Jay Phillips hit a 3 to take a 38-36 lead, which sophomore Brady Adams extended with a 3-pointer of his own. Parker Lindquist added 1 to secure a 46-40 lead after three quarters.
“We always have a good third quarter because coach always has a good halftime speech,” said Gedeon. “We just came out and trusted in our shots. He told us that every shot we take, we should believe in it and I think we all started believing in our shots.”
The Bulldogs’ confidence was starting to falter. The visiting student section otherwise oozed pride, wearing white T-shirts Tuesday night that read 50-0 among other clever but insulting phrases.
“I love it. This is what high school basketball should be,” said Moffat County head coach Mark Carlson. “I’m glad we get fans back in the stands. It’s awesome.”
With each passing possession, the Bulldogs grew closer to eating their own words. Moffat County sophomore Ian Hafey used a second-chance shot to bring the score to 52-50 and Steamboat had gone a few minutes without scoring. A free throw from sophomore Bryant Carlson brought the Bulldogs within one with two minutes to play.
Steamboat put the game away with free throws.
“I like our heart, effort. We played with a lot of effort. We didn’t quit, didn’t give up when Steamboat went on that little run,” Carlson said.
“You want your valley rivals going at it and battling in a 4-point game,” he added. “I just wish we would have been on the other side of the 4-point game.”
Steamboat Springs 56, Moffat County 52
MC 11 13 16 12 – 52
SS 9 16 21 10 – 56
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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