Weekend warriors

Basketball, hockey teams brace for big weekend

The Steamboat Springs boys basketball team already controls its final position in the Western Slope standings, but a win against rival Moffat County tonight would help the Sailors even more.

Steamboat (9-2 overall) is alone atop the league with a 4-0 record, having defeated second-place Rifle last week at home. The Sailors' three other league wins have all come on the road, which pleases coach Kelly Meek.

"They are really doing a good job of following game plans and have really been defending well," Meek said.

With half the season remaining, there is a lot of basketball left to play, but a win against Moffat County would give Steamboat victories against the two biggest threats to win the league.

"It will be crucial for us to defend (Moffat County's) fast-break game," Meek said.

In addition, Meek said, Steamboat's success likely will depend on how the players step up to defend the Bulldogs' Anthony Loughran, a multi-dimensional athlete who can play inside and out, and Derek Duran, Moffat County's second-leading scorer at 12 points a game.

In rivalry games, however, players who don't receive a lot of recognition have a tendency to perform at higher levels, as well.

Steamboat may need some big-time efforts from its reserve guards if senior Kyle Re is unable to play tonight. Meek said Re hasn't been feeling well and has been held out of practice.

"Our kids have been good about stepping up," Meek said.

A win tonight against Moffat County certainly would help the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team, too. The Sailors have lost two straight and find themselves at 2-2 in the league and in fourth place.

Rifle, a team that defeated Steamboat last Friday, is unbeaten in league play and defeated Moffat County earlier this season. But the Moffat County Bulldogs still are contending for a league title, despite losing several seniors.

The Sailors proved they could beat the Bulldogs last year in postseason play, but Steamboat has had a difficult time upending its biggest rival during the regular season.

Tip off for the girls' game is 6 p.m. today at the Steamboat Springs High School. The boys' game will follow at about 7:30 p.m.

Both games can be heard on KBCR 1230 AM.

The Steamboat Springs hockey team wraps up its regular-season home schedule this weekend with a 6:30 p.m. game tonight against Coronado and a 1:15 p.m. Saturday game against Cheyenne Mountain at the Howelsen Ice Arena.

Both are league games.

Last weekend's 4-3 overtime loss to Aspen set Steamboat back in its bid to win the Mountain league, but a strong showing in this weekend's games will put the Sailors in position to seize the title.

Steamboat is in second place behind Aspen, but Cheyenne Mountain is right behind Steamboat.

The Sailors will recognize their 11 seniors and their parents before tonight's game. The 11 seniors on this year's team, which is 6-3-1 overall, are Jessie Smith, Jamison Allee, Jamie Lokkesmoe, Casey Earp, Curtis Nelson, Chris Timmerman, Taylor Leary, Matt Legrice, Cooper Lee, Tucker Greene, and Phil Bush.

Tonight's hockey game between Steamboat and Coronado and tomorrow's game against Cheyenne Mountain will be broadcast on KRMR 1005. or 107.3 FM

The Hayden and Soroco basketball teams also will host weekend games.

Soroco plays Paonia on Saturday, beginning at 4:30 p.m. with the girls game. The boys are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in Oak Creek.

Hayden welcomes Grand Valley on Saturday. The girls' game starts at 4 p.m. with the boys to follow at 5:30 p.m.

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