Saturday, January 4, 2003
Steamboat Springs It was back to work for the members of the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team last week.
The team was coming off a 10-day break, but coach Kelley Meek said his players were ready to get back to the mission they began before the layoff.
"The break is always a step backwards," Meek said late last week. "But I was happy with what I saw today."
Meek said he used the holiday break to evaluate the team and design a course he hopes will lead the team to a Western Slope title by the end of the season.
"After the first six games there are still some things that we need to work on," Meek said. "I know we still need to work on our inside game offensively. We also still need to make some minor adjustments here and there."
But this week, Meek is just trying to get his players back to where they were when they won the Steamboat Shootout.
That meant he was stressing defense during the first practice since last Thursday.
"Our kids have done a great job of listening all season," Meek said. "They have shown a high level of intensity all season and I don't expect that to change."
The team's first test of 2003 will come Tuesday night when the squad travels to Rangely. The Panthers are 6-1 this season.
"They are a very strong team," Meek said. "They beat us last summer and I think this will be a good test for us."
The Sailors will be tested by the Panthers, who have one of the best inside players in the state and a dangerous outside game.
Meek said if the Sailors want to win, they would have to shut down 6-foot-3 inside player Brian Skelton. He leads the team in scoring this season with 16 points per game.
The Panthers (6-1) are also very strong on the perimeter.
Meek said Greg Skelton, Trey Robie and Luke Scott can all score points from the outside.
Greg Skelton and Robie have both averaged 10 points a game in the early season. Scott has averaged almost 10 points a game but leads the team in 3-pointers.
"They've got a number of players who can hit the 3-pointer," Meek said.
The Sailors are 5-1 this season. Meek hopes his players will get off on the right foot in the opening game.
The Sailors will have their first league contest on Thursday against the Battle Mountain Huskies.
The game will be the first of 12 straight league games.
The Sailors' top scorer is Cameron Burney, who is averaging 14 points per game and almost 13 rebounds.
Cory Moore has averaged 14 points a game and John Daschle is averaging 13.5.
But Meek said the key to the Sailors' success after the break could come down to defense and a few of the younger players.