Steamboat takes control of Western Slope |

Steamboat takes control of Western Slope

RIFLE – Steamboat Springs High School can start making some room in its trophy case. In a battle between the league’s top two teams, the Sailors downed Rifle 62-57 to take a two-game lead in the boys 4A Western Slope League with just four games remaining in the season.The Bears (7-2, 11-6) took early control of the game, allowing Steamboat (10-0 WSL, 16-2 overall) just four points in the first quarter, and leading by as many as eight points in the second quarter.The Sailors chipped away at the lead in the latter part of the second and the game turned on a 3-pointer by Dustin Moran at the halftime buzzer by to cut the margin to 24-23.”We were definitely sluggish starting out,” said Steamboat’s Pat Ayres, who had 12 of his game-high 26 points in the second quarter. “That was definitely a big shot.”Steamboat maintained the momentum after the intermission as Ayres scored the Sailors first five points, kicking off an 8-2 run to put the Sailors up 31-26. “I just knew we could beat them inside and I just kept telling everybody to keep drilling it inside,” Ayres said.The Bears made a 6-0 run in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 54-50 with 2:14 remaining, but couldn’t get any closer down the stretch. Adam Krick paced Rifle with 22 points and Brandon Leuallen added 13. The Bears did a good job defensively on standout forward Cameron Burney, but they were aided by Burney’s foul trouble that kept him on the bench through much of the second quarter. The senior finished with 13 points.Rifle maintains second place in the league and faces rival Glenwood Springs Tuesday in Glenwood at 7:30 p.m.• On Friday in Craig, Rifle held off a pesky Moffat County squad for a 50-48 league victory. Krick led the team with 15 points.Andy Smith of the Craig Daily Press contributed to this report

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