Steamboat Springs runs past Eagle Valley, 63-39, in Gypsum
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado ” While Steamboat Springs played like the Road Runner, its Eagle Valley counterparts looked more like the Wile E. Coyote.
Everything the Devils tried was flawed ” at least in the first half. The energetic Sailors blistered Eagle Valley (7-12, 4-6) in the opening 16 minutes, rolling to a 43-9 lead before cruising to a 63-39 victory in Gypsum on Tuesday night.
“This was a total team effort,” Steamboat coach John Ameen said. “That’s how you have to play. Good teams have that about them. They don’t have to rely on one person all the time. You have skilled players to be a team. You all work together.”
Steamboat grabbed control of the game with its patient offense and ball-hawking defense. When the first half came to an end, the Sailors tallied 13 field goals ” on nine assists ” to Eagle Valley’s one. The complete domination ended any hopes of making the 4A Slope tilt competitive after the break.
The outcome of the game was only surprising after looking at the standings. Steamboat came into the contest 5-12 with a 2-7 mark in the Slope. The Devils are playing for their playoff lives, now sitting in fifth after Palisade (5-15, 5-6) moved ahead of them with a win over Battle Mountain on Tuesday.
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In the first half, Eagle Valley looked nothing like a postseason contender.
“We were pouting,” Eagle Valley coach Ken Reagan said. “They made some shots, so we had to make some shots. We couldn’t buy one.”
Brittany Long gave Steamboat an early 6-0 advantage with a floater in the lane. Later, Hannah Moore drilled a long 3-pointer after the Sailors snared three offensive rebounds to keep the possession alive. The first quarter ended with Steamboat up 21-5 and holding a 14-3 edge on the glass.
“If we crash the offensive boards, that can be an extra possession,” Ameen said. “In the first half, everything clicked. We shot the ball well. We worked the ball around on offense. Defensively, our positioning and everything was great.”
The Sailors’ torrid shooting continued in the second quarter. Gracie Stockdale hit the first of her three treys to push the lead to 25-5. Stockdale finished with a game-high 16 points.
With Eagle Valley struggling, Steamboat kept padding its lead. Matthia Duryca’s jumper and two free throws sent the game into the half with the Sailors holding an insurmountable 43-9 lead.
“Offensively, we would make two passes and shoot it, no matter what the shot was,” Reagan said. “Then when we did get open shots, we couldn’t get them in. We were just not being very smart with the ball.”
The Devils played much better after halftime. Brenda Zapata started an 8-0 Eagle Valley run with a jumper. Yvette Parra’s steal and layup cut into the deficit, but it was still 50-19 in Steamboat’s favor.
Zapata paced the Devils with 11 points. Kacey Bair added seven.
“In the second half, we put the full-court press on and I guess that got our energy level back up,” Reagan said.
Eagle Valley must regroup quickly after the loss. The Devils host Palisade on Friday night.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.