Coal Ridge girls, boys split against Steamboat Springs

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kara K. Pearson Post Independent

CARBONDALE – The Rick Schmitz era of Coal Ridge girls basketball is off to a promising start, as the Titans improved to 2-0 with a 44-25 rout of Steamboat Springs on Saturday.Defense did the trick in the team’s second-round game of the Roaring Fork High School-hosted Brenda Patch Tournament. Coal Ridge surrendered no more than seven points in any quarter and forced 30 Sailor turnovers. “They played hard,” said Schmitz, a veteran coach of 27 years who took over the Titans job in the offseason. “We’ve got some things to work on offensively but hopefully that will come with time. We played hard, full-court defense.”What offense Coal Ridge did produce junior Morgan Jessup was a big part of, tossing in a game-high 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting. She also grabbed five rebounds and had a steal. Mikaela Guettler added nine points and Matraisa Beecraft had five.Saturday’s success followed the Titans’ 53-22 Friday night win over Battle Mountain and polished off a perfect run through the round-robin tourney. Best of all, both victories came at the expense of Class 4A schools.

“To win those kind of games makes you feel better about things,” Jessup said.This is Class 3A Coal Ridge’s first year with seniors, meaning everybody’s back from last year. That familiarity might just breed a big year for a third-year program that’s on already on its third coach. “It’s hard to through three different coaches,” Jessup noted. “It’s hard to get the program started that way, but we’re getting through. And we’ve played with coach Schmitz for two summers so that helps.”Steamboat’s season is off to a far less promising start, as the Sailors dipped to 0-2. Saturday’s effort came on the heels of a lopsided 50-26 loss to Roaring Fork on Friday.Poor shooting and a bevy of turnovers – traveling and throwaways were far-too-frequent weekend occurrences – have cost Steamboat big. On Saturday, it was Emily Metscher pacing the struggling offense with seven points. Colleen King, Kylee Swiggart, Alyssa Walter and Lizzie Stoll each had four points as the Sailors hit just 10 of 44 shots from the floor and were 4-of-16 at the free-throw line.Steamboat gets a few days of practice before hitting the floor again at its own Steamboat Shootout on Thursday. The Titans return to action Friday against visiting Plateau Valley.Sailor boys outgun Titans

Coal Ridge’s boys basketball team learned the hard way that giving Steamboat Springs open looks from beyond the 3-point arc is not a recipe for success.The Sailors drained 10 triples in 22 tries on Saturday, running away with a 62-47 win over theTitans in the teams’ second-round Brenda Patch Tournament showdown. What made the perimeter shooting clinic sweeter was that the 3-point barrage saw eight different players connect. Aaron Calkins and Nelson Brassell paced the sharp-shooting charge with two 3s apiece.”We can take it inside to the paint, too,” Steamboat senior Connor Moore reminded the masses, “but pretty much every player on this team can hit from 3.”Moore finished with a team-high 10 points to help comprise a balanced Sailor scoring attack. Isiah Forsyth added nine points, Blake Weinstein and Colby Kostur eight and Brassell and Alex Wood seven.After losing to tournament host Roaring Fork 57-49 on Friday, Steamboat (1-1) seemed extra motivated to leave Carbondale with a win and prove their No. 3 ranking by RockyPreps in Class 4A is no fluke.Coach Kelly Meek was much more fond of the Sailor team that showed up Saturday.

“Well, we really settled way too much for the 3-ball last night,” he said. “We had a lot of open looks, but we just didn’t get it to go down. At the same time, we didn’t penetrate.”At least for a day, those problems were solved. The Sailors are off until Thursday with the start of their own Steamboat Shootout.Steamboat, up 10-7 after one frame, began to pull away from the Titans (1-1) in the second quarter, putting up 18 points and four 3-pointers to take a 28-20 lead into the break. The Sailors really blew the game open in the third, outscoring Coal Ridge 19-5 to build a 22-point lead.Led by 11 fourth-quarter points by Skyler James, the Titans chipped away at that lead before running out of time. James paced his team with game-best 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Blake Todd and Andy Smedra added six points apiece for the Titans, who next take on Plateau Valley at home on Friday.”We just didn’t play very well until the last three minutes or so,” Coal Ridge coach Mike Cox said. “The hard part is that my guys didn’t perform. We lost our cool coming out in the second half. We didn’t play our game.”Foul trouble plagued the Titans all afternoon, and Steamboat capitalized, going 16-for-25 from the charity stripe. Cox wasn’t pleased with how his team responded.”It all comes back to our attitude,” he said. “We took a step back. We’re going to fix that this week.”

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