Steamboat edges Huskies
EAGLE-VAIL – Win No. 501 for Steamboat Springs boys basketball coach Kelly Meek wasn’t very pretty, but we don’t think he’s giving it back.After becoming only the sixth basketball coach in state history to reach the 500-win mark against Delta last week, Meek’s Sailors eked by Battle Mountain, 48-45, Friday night.”We had a rough week of practice,” Meek said. “On Wednesday night, we had one player out of our top-nine. We’ve had illness run right through. We had starters who didn’t practice the entire week. I’ve got to give Battle Mountain a lot of credit. They dug. They scrapped. They really pressured us.”But behind a solid defense, a few clutch 3s and 12-for-16 shooting from the line, Steamboat upped its record to 10-2 overall and 4-0 in the Slope. Battle Mountain fell to 8-5 and 1-3, respectively.
“We were with them the whole night,” Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue said. “We were right there in the very end. The thing we talked about was, ‘Hey, they are the league leader. They’re 10-2. We can play with anybody in this league.'”For the most part they did, but going scoreless in the final 4:48 of the first half did not help the Huskies’ cause. Before the drought, Battle Mountain had surged out to a 22-15 lead. Steamboat outscored the Huskies, 8-0 for the rest of the half to lead at intermission, 23-22.”We had been really lax in our defensive pressure,” Meek said. “We had a timeout. We talked about it. ‘We have to glue down on this end of the floor. Offense is not going to come easy tonight.’ They just locked up and really did a good job of covering their sets.”Battle Mountain’s Connor Drumm tied it up at 31 to start the fourth quarter. Steamboat’s Scott Peterson followed with a layup which gave his team the lead for good. Then, Dustin Moran and Peterson hit 3s, giving Steamboat a 39-33 advantage with 5:23 remaining. Though they tried mightily, the Huskies could not whittle down that deficit. Steamboat milked the clock very effectively and when Battle Mountain was forced to foul, the Sailors converted.
“That was big because they were coming to get us,” Meek said. “That was really crucial there for us to step up there and knock down big free throws. We needed to keep that separation.”Cameron Burney and Pat Ayres each had 12 points for the Sailors. Peterson finished with nine. Drumm and Thomas Pacheco both led the Huskies with nine.Rim shots
Steamboat hosts Eagle Valley tonight at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Huskies head to Craig to face Moffat County. … Tronsrue on Meek’s 500 wins: “I’m not going to be around for 500 wins,” the coach said, laughing. “That is an incredible mark. I told Kelly that. I have great respect and admiration for the guy. He’s a credit to our profession and Colorado high school coaches. It’s just such and accomplishment.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado