STEAMBOAT SPRINGS -- Even before the second half started, Steamboat Springs' Aaron Calkins was feeling it.
"If we feel like our stroke is good during a shoot-around, we'll tell coach," he said. "I was feeling it at halftime, so they looked for me."
Against Moffat County, Calkins hit two three-pointers and another two-point jumper in the Sailors' first four possessions of the third quarter to break open a 21-21 halftime tie. Steamboat went on a 10-2 run in the first four minutes of the third quarter and held that lead for the rest of the game in a 68-55 win.
"Considering that Aaron wasn't in practice a week ago because of illness, he played well," Steamboat coach Kelly Meek said. "Those shots he hit loosened up some of our other guys, as well."
After holding the Sailors to 21 points in the first half, the Bulldogs surrendered 24 points in the third quarter.
"They came out with a quicker lineup," Moffat senior Jarrod Holmlund said. "Our (big guys) couldn't stick with them, and they hit some big shots."
The Bulldogs played zone and man defenses in the first half. They stuck with a man-to-man defense in the second half.
"(Steamboat) had a little run against our zone in the first half, so we went back to man," Moffat coach Scott Parker said. "We didn't communicate well enough in the second half."
Steamboat's Scott Peterson benefited from the Bulldogs' lack of communication. He scored 10 of his 13 points in the third quarter.
Bulldog senior Derek Duran kept his team in the game with 26 points.
"Our guys made (Duran) work," Meek said. "But we don't have anything close to his talent to guard him."
Duran made a layup with 42 seconds remaining in the third quarter to pull his team within four points, 43-39. Moffat would never get any closer.
"We made that little run," Parker said. "But in the fourth quarter we couldn't sustain our play."
The Sailors converted 14 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter to keep the Bulldogs out of reach.
Steamboat senior Mitch Bryden hit several key shots in the fourth quarter and led his team with 17 points.
"Mitch and Scott both played with injuries tonight, but they played well," Meek said. "We only had one guy with varsity experience before the start of the season, so we need our leaders to play well."
The Bulldogs were without two team leaders. Seniors Kevin Loughran and Cass Thompson were suspended Monday for violating team rules. Holmlund started in place of Loughran and was the team's second leading scorer with 10 points.
"We couldn't find anything that worked defensively the second half," Holmlund said. "We'll have to improve that the second time around."
The Sailors improved to 2-1 in the Western Slope League, and the Bulldogs dropped to 1-2.