Rifle’s paint play capsizes outside shooting of Sailors | PostIndependent.com
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Rifle’s paint play capsizes outside shooting of Sailors

RIFLE – In a battle that pitted Rifle’s inside game against Steamboat’s outside game, the inside proved victorious as the Bears girls basketball team defeated Steamboat 61-47 in a Western Slope league showdown Friday night.Megan McWilliams and Kristin Guettler led the Bears’ post game, combining for 26 points in the paint and pulling down 19 rebounds. Their effort topped the eight 3-pointers the Sailors sank that totaled 24 points from the perimeter.”We’ve been working a lot on floor game and getting three or four passes and then hitting someone in the paint inside like that,” Rifle head coach Jack Smith said. “I thought the kids played pretty steady. I liked the way we ran the floor tonight.”McWilliams finished the game with 16 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and two assists; Guettler totaled 17 points, six rebounds, one steal and one assist; and Chelsea Webb added another eight points. Lindsey Bowen and Alissa Skinner each chipped in six.”Rifle seemed to play really well,” said Steamboat head coach Ashley Berggren. “They had different players step up at different times.” The Sailors’ Missy Chotvacs and Jessica Peters each scored 11 points and nine of Chotvacs’ came from behind the 3-point line. “I do have some great shooters who are working on consistency. Shannon King stepped up and hit some big 3s,” Berggren said.Rifle (9-4 WSL, 12-9 overall) will conclude its regular season today at 4 p.m. when it hosts first-place and undefeated Moffat County, a team Smith believes the Bears have a chance against.”We are going to take it to them,” Smith said. “Zero-zero starts the game.”Rifle boys fall short against SteamboatLast time the Rifle boys basketball team faced Steamboat, there were last-second shots, a thrilling overtime and an intense 48-47 Rifle victory. None of those elements existed in Friday night’s rematch between the two teams as Steamboat downed the Bears 53-33 in a low-scoring affair.”We had some open looks, but we have to be ready to catch and shoot,” said Rifle head coach Chris Lowther. “We had some easy shots that we had the opportunity to make and we didn’t make them.”Steamboat’s tough defense and Rifle’s cold shooting resulted in six-point quarters for the Bears in the game’s second and third frames.”I was real pleased with our defense tonight,” said Steamboat head coach Kelly Meek.Rifle also played good defense, never allowing the Sailors to score more than 15 points a quarter.”You can’t do a lot as far as scoring in the 30s,” Lowther said. “I feel like we held them to a reasonable amount of points in each quarter.”Steamboat’s Mitch Bryden found ways to get past the Bear defense, totaling 23 points on the night, 17 of which came in the second half. The senior hit two 3-pointers and went 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.”He can go inside and outside and that creates a problem for the defense,” Meek said. “We started him inside and then we bring him out. His teammates recognize him well and he comes to play hard.” In the first half, Rifle was led by the hot hand of Scott Rust, who netted three 3s and totaled 10 points in the first 16 minutes. But Rust, along with the rest of his team, went cold in the second.Taking a 38-22 lead into the final quarter, the Sailors put together a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach. Bear Stuart Stapleton hit two 3-pointers in the last minute, but it was too little, too late.Rifle (3-10 Western Slope League, 4-17 overall) wraps up its regular season today at 5:30 p.m. against Moffat County.


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