Steamboat boys blow game open in second half |

Steamboat boys blow game open in second half

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS It was over in a flash. The Steamboat Springs boys basketball had kept Rifle around for a half. But just as the Sailors have done throughout the season, they hit a stretch. Steamboat broke open a three-point game with a 19-2 stretch to open the third quarter en route to a 74-50 win. I was just pleased with how we knuckled down in that second half, Steamboat coach Kelly Meek said. We put the hammer down on them.The win gives Steamboat a two-game lead in the Western Slope League with six games remaining. It was also Steamboats 24th consecutive win in league play. Although Steamboat opened the game up in the second half, the Bears gave the Sailors everything they could handle in a first half that saw four ties and six lead changes. Rifle (9-7 overall, 6-2 in league play) held a slim 22-21 lead with 1 minute, 39 seconds left in the half before Steamboats Aaron Calkins scored five consecutive points to give Steamboat a 27-24 lead heading into the break. But then in the third quarter Steamboat (14-2, 8-0) defense tightened and nothing seemed to fall for Rifle. Steamboat scored the first eight points of the quarter, limited Rifle to one basket the first 3:24 of the quarter and held the Bears to 3-of-15 shooting in the quarter. In a game like that every possession is magnified, Rifle coach Chris Lowther said. As far as that goes, youve got to capitalize on the chances you get and we didnt do that.Steamboat continued its torrid pace in the fourth quarter, outscoring Rifle 28-20. In the second half we came out and played like we knew how at least, said Steamboats Colby Kostur, who keyed the third quarter run with 11 points. I think were coming around. The first half we didnt play real well but we did in the second. Were getting to the point where we need to be. Michael Vandahl led Steamboat with 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Kostur chipped in 16 points and eight rebounds while Calkins scored 15 and grabbed nine rebounds. Tyler Rust paced Rifle with 20 points, while Scott Rust chipped in eight. Steamboat now heads to Glenwood Springs for a 5:30 p.m. game today. Rifle will host Moffat County at 5:30 p.m. today.

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