‘Tears of happiness:’ Sailor girls win first game, boys remain unbeaten
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After a few near wins and tough losses, the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team finally came out on top with a 49-41 victory at home over Summit.
Tuesday’s game was close, with the teams tied at 33 after three quarters. The Sailors never got discouraged, though. They pulled ahead using foul shots in the fourth, jumping for joy when the buzzer sounded.
The team is now 1-7.
“I had some of the girls crying in the locker room saying, ’We knew we could do this,” said head coach George Ibarra. “It was tears of happiness. They finally climbed that ladder and were looking down saying, ’OK, we can do this.’”
With a few players out for various reasons, younger players with fewer varsity minutes stepped up. Sophomore Belize Berry netted a trio of 3-pointers, and junior Caroline McLaughlin sunk two free throws in the last minute to secure the game. The junior was clearly nervous, rubbing her hands over her head three times before stepping to the line. Nevertheless, she made the shots.
The go-to scorers continued to do their thing. Junior Sam Campbell scored 20 points and senior Erica Simmons added 12.
The pair are the only true varsity returners this year, so after seven games, the squad is finally starting to mesh.
As for the Sailor boys, they had one of their slowest starts of the year, falling behind 10-8 after one quarter. Even at the half, their lead was a meager 21-19. They eventually broke the game open, winning 49-32 over Summit and moving to 6-0.
In the third, the Steamboat boys started looking like themselves. Three-point shots from sophomore Cade Gedeon and senior Carter Reistad made it 31-22 Steamboat. Senior Jake Kreissig scored the last eight points of the quarter for his team, bringing the lead to 39-24.
The Tigers did a good job shutting down senior Eric Pollert, who tends to lead the Sailors in scoring. Being so crowded on the floor, the 6-foot-7 center got into foul trouble and had to sit much of the game.
See more photos from the evening’s victories here.
Girls: Steamboat Springs 49, Summit 41
S 8 10 15 16 – 49
SS 6 12 15 8 – 41
Scoring: S, Autumn Rivera 26, Sarah Pappas 5. SS, Sam Campbell 20, Erica Simmons 12, Belize Berry 11, Caroline McLaughlin 4.
Steamboat Springs 49, Summit 32
S 10 9 5 8 – 32
SS 8 13 18 10 – 49
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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Last year, the stands at Steamboat Springs High School sporting events were mostly empty. The lack of fans made wins feel unexciting and losses feel devastating. There was no energy in the gym or at…