Sailors top Huskies in Eagle-Vail finale
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” Battle Mountain cut down the nets after Friday’s basketball games, but visiting Steamboat Springs picked up a pair of wins.
The Sailors spoiled the party, winning the boys’ game, 52-38, while the Steamboat ladies walked away with a 50-25 win.
Having finished a run of 33 years in Eagle-Vail, Battle Mountain celebrated nevertheless with current players and alumni on hand to chop down the twine, which will go with the Huskies to their new digs in Edwards come September.
Sailors snap skid
A week ago, the Steamboat boys basketball team seemed to be steaming toward a third-straight 4A Slope championship until consecutive losses to Glenwood Springs and rival Moffat County.
While Steamboat (15-7 overall and 12-2 in league) never had to worry about making the playoffs, the Sailors didn’t not want to go into the postseason with a three-game losing streak.
Friday’s win clinched second place in the Slope ahead of Moffat and behind Glenwood, and put Luke DeWolfe’s crew back into the right frame of mind.
“It was a big win for us, coming off two losses,” the Steamboat coach said. “It was a big one for us to come out and establish ourselves and get some momentum, going into the postseason.”
The Huskies (3-19, 3-11) made it tough for Steamboat, thought. The game was tied at 18 at the half with Battle Mountain’s offense driving aggressively into the paint, getting Steamboat forwards Nelson Brassell (three) and Alex Wood (two) into first-half foul trouble.
The Sailors countered by moving Brassell and Woods outside and into favorable matchups.
“They were smart by pushing their guys who were in foul trouble away from our attack,” Tronsrue said. “Good chess move.”
Woods and Brassell got Steamboat’s first six points of the second half with layups and then Jack Spady struck from downtown for a 27-22 lead.
Spady led the Sailors with 15 points, followed by Brassell (13) and Woods (11).
“I think we just started executing,” DeWolfe said. “That was our biggest problem in the first half. I thought we had some good looks. Our shots weren’t falling. I think we were tight or a little cold.”
Mitch Cooley led the Huskies with 11 points.
Steamboat will find out its playoff assignment when the brackets go up on chsaa.org on Sunday.
Lady Sailors cruise
Steamboat Springs girls basketball finished the season on a high note with an easy 50-25 win, while the Huskies’ season came to a merciful end at 0-23.
The Sailors (7-15, 4-10) went on a 22-0 run for eight minutes spanning the first and second quarters and never looked back.
“It was a good way to end the season,” Sailors coach John Ameen said. “We talked about it before the game. We didn’t just want to win. We wanted to play well.”
Steamboat Gracie Stockdale led all scorers with 15 points, while teammates Hanna Berglund and Matthia Duryea each had eight.
For the Huskies, it was a frustrating end to season which did see some progress, despite a winless record.
“It was rough going, especially at the beginning of the season,” Battle Mountain coach Andrew Schmid said. “We ended with a pretty good run against Palisade, Delta, and Eagle Valley. Unfortunately, Steamboat really brought it on defense. They were hitting everything in the first half and it’s hard to come back from that deficit.”
Battle Mountain basketball sent off five seniors as well as its gym with Friday’s games.
The ladies honored Gaby Reyes, Amber Webb and Miriah Jones, while the boys will be graduating Cooley and Rudy Ybarra.
“Mitch came in and helped us in an area where we were desperately lacking,” Tronsrue said. “He helped us in a lot of ball games. Rudy just has a good work ethic and a lot of heart. He’s been there for four years. He’s in the gym all the time and he’s always thinking about the team. You don’t get many guys like that.”
“Our seniors have been great,” Schmid said. “They’ve always been dedicated. They’ve shown good leadership this year. It’s too bad we can’t have them next year.”
The evening ended as the current Huskies clipped the west net, and alumni led by Josh Olson (Class of 1999) and Sara LyBarger (2004) took down the east one. The court had been home to Huskies hoops since 1976 ” including a 2A Slope championship by the girls in 1993 and the boys’ 4A league crown in 2006.
“The 05-06 year was incredible,” Tronsrue said. “So many things went on here. You take a look at all the league championships that went on. Cross country and volleyball won state. That was a really incredible class and they’re all going on and doing well in college. But you’ve got to remember that every class, including this one, has great qualities.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.