Steamboat Springs edges Eagle Valley, 48-45 |

Steamboat Springs edges Eagle Valley, 48-45

Ian CroppDaily Sports Writer
EVGB Chelsey Lueders SM 2-10

GYPSUM In the face of a pesky Eagle Valley defense, the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team just wouldnt let go of its lead.The Sailors carried a 21-19 advantage into the half and held off a late Devils surge to win, 48-45, Friday night.Both teams shined on the defensive end of the court, racking up steals and forcing turnovers.Youve gotta love games like this, said Steamboat coach Ashley Berggren. There was real pressure defense on both ends.Despite two Steamboat 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, that gave the Sailors a 44-37 lead, Eagle Valley closed the gap to 44-42 with a minute and a half remaining in the game.The Devils continued to shut down the Sailors offense, but Eagle Valley couldnt find the scoring touch it needed to catch Steamboat.Our shots werent falling, but we werent being patient, and we were forcing a lot because time was running out, said Eagle Valley coach Jamie Mayne. I think the adrenaline was pumping.Steamboat didnt let Eagle Valley have an open look, and when the Devils did shoot, the Sailors were in good position down low to grab rebounds.We made some good changes in the second half, and we played more aggressive, Berggren said.Tara King led the Sailors with 18 points, followed by Missy Chotvacs (13) and Jessica Peters (10).For the Devils, Padilla had a team-high 18 points, while fellow seniors Sarah Reed Rachel Sandoval and Chelsey Lueders each had six points.Our seniors really picked it up, and you could tell they really wanted it, said the Devils Jeanette Baker.In the first half, the Sailors shot 9-for-15, while the Devils were 8-for-21.

AnticipationSandoval was again the Devils biggest thief, collecting a game-best 10 steals. Her most impressive pick came in the third quarter with her team trailing 30-28. Steamboat came down the court on a 4-on-1 break, but Sandoval intercepted a bounce pass and Padilla went down the court to tie the game at 30.They are a real scrappy team and work hard, Berggren said.At the end of the third quarter, the Sailors led, 34-33, which would be the closest the Devils would get to the Sailors.Unlike the last time the two teams met, the game was decided by one basket.When we went up there, they beat us by like 27, so I was pleased with the way we played, Mayne said. This week we concentrated on defense and being in their face and never giving them an open look.

Sailors cast off in second halfAfter an evenly matched first half, Steamboat came out and dictated the tempo of the third quarter to pull away from the Devils in the boys basketball game.The Sailors also used some key offensive rebounds to their advantage en route to a 53-40 victory.I thought we defended well in the third quarter and ran our sets a lot better on offense, said Steamboat coach Kelly Meek.Both teams made halftime adjustments, but the Sailors benefited from a slower-paced, spread-out style of ball.In the first half, they were posting in the middle on us, and we made an adjustment, but in the second half, we didnt block out, said Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel. We shut them down, and they got second-chance baskets with nobody on them. They really hurt us on the offensive glass.Many of the Sailors 14 third-quarter points came on put-backs beneath the basket.Meanwhile at the other end, the Devils couldnt get most of their shots to fall, and the Sailors were there on the glass to prevent second chances.With Steamboats top scorer, Scott Peterson, on the bench with a knee injury, the Sailors Aaron Calkins picked up the reins for a game-high 14 points, while teammate Cameron Petit added 10 points.

Get him the ballIn the first half, the Devils Matt Barker went on a shooting spree, netting all of his team-best 13 points.The guys were getting me the ball when I was open, and I was putting it in, Barker said.Meek took note of Barkers shooting and had his team eat up the clock in the second half before taking shots.When youve got somebody whose game is hot, you dont want to get him as many touches, Meek said. We wanted to try and (pass) a little more because we were getting into the quick-shot mentality. Trailing 50-34 late in the fourth quarter, the Devils added a few baskets to close out the game.It was pretty frustrating, and Im sure it is for the players when its not going their way, Gabriel said. They are working hard but just not having success. I feel for them.Eagle Valley hopes to recoup today against Moffat, with the girls starting at 4 p.m., followed by the boys at 5:30 p.m. Daily Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 970-949-0555, ext. 14631, or Vail, Colorado

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