Steamboat Springs boys basketball coach Kelly Meek has been in the profession for more than 30 years, so he doesn't get nervous before games such as Saturday's league opener against rival Moffat County, but he still gets excited.
"I try to keep as even a keel as I can," Meek said. "If I don't, we aren't ready."
Steamboat didn't play its best game of the year Saturday, but it found a way to win, coming from behind to upend Moffat County, 38-29, in Steamboat Springs.
"It feels like when we're not playing good we get this luck that walks through the door," senior Cameron Burney said.
With two minutes, 13 seconds remaining in Saturday's game, the Sailors were clinging to a two-point lead when Burney hit a turnaround jumper from the low block.
Senior Tyler Fosdick stole the subsequent inbounds pass and dribbled to the far side of the court before the basketball made its way to Burney for an easy two.
On the Bulldogs' next possession, Sailors senior Dustin Morgan came up with a steal that turned into a three-point play when junior Scott Peterson made the bucket and the free throw after drawing a foul on junior Jarrod Holmlund.
What was a slim two-point lead expanded to a more comfortable 38-29 edge with 1:19 to go.
Moffat County coach Mike LeWarne said Saturday's game was much like the first matchup between the rivals Dec. 18. The Sailors won that one, as well.
"It was pretty low scoring, pretty intense," LeWarne said. "Give credit to them."
The game was close throughout, with Steamboat holding a 12-10 lead after one quarter and Moffat County holding the halftime lead, 21-20. But the Sailors limited the Bulldogs to just eight points in the second half, including just three in the third quarter.
Steamboat, meanwhile, scored 18 in the second half, taking control of the game late. The Sailors rallied to take the lead, 27-24, and closed out the quarter on an alley-oop slam from Burney.
LeWarne said Steamboat was looking to use Burney inside. He scored only 12 points and collected seven rebounds, but Burney picked opportune times to score.
"He is a super athlete," LeWarne said.
Junior Chance Buckner led Moffat County with nine points. Junior Derek Duran added seven.
Moffat County (4-3, 0-1) returns to action Tuesday against Fruita-Monument.