Bulldogs look to build team confidence

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Junior Joe Padon knows the importance of winning two games this weekend.

He knows how much the Bulldogs' confidence will be bolstered if they beat both Delta and Palisade.

And he knows the Bulldogs will need all the confidence they can get.

"These are two important games for us, if we can come out of this weekend with a couple of wins our confidence will be high," he said.

The two weeks after Friday, the 'Dogs will face the top two teams in the conference Steamboat Springs and Battle Mountain.

Friday night when the Bulldogs face off against the Delta Panthers (3-6) they will be facing one of the most underestimated teams in the conference. While the Panthers have lost twice as many games as they've won, they've stuck it out with some tough teams losing to undefeated Battle Mountain Huskies by only 10 points.

The Panthers return nearly every name on their roster from last season, including 6-foot-5 forward Justin Evans, who is the team's top scorer.

"They're still a young team, because they started two freshman last year," coach Blaine Corlett said. "They're a team we definitely can't overlook, they've played teams too well this year."

The Palisade Bulldogs (0-9) haven't won a game this season, and the closest they've come to winning was a four point loss at Class 3A Meeker.

The Bulldogs rely on a dominate post player, Justin Unfred, to score 30 to 40 percent of their points, Corlett said. The remainder of the team spread the points out among one another.

"Their post is a good player, and works hard in the middle," Corlett said. "He doesn't worry me, we've seen strong posts all season and have shut them down. So I don't see any reason why we can't shut him down."

The Moffat County boys will depend on a defense that has two players averaging nearly 10 rebounds a game to keep the score close Friday and Saturday.

Sophomore Anthony Loughran and senior Mike Charchalis have combined for 153 rebounds on the season, most coming on the defensive end of the court.

The Bulldogs offense, which has tallied 626 points on the season and is growing stronger as the season progresses.

The two top-Dog scores are junior Pablo Loya (151), who is commonly seen behind the three-point line, and senior Kyle Hazelwood (181), who has nearly a 50-percent average from the field.

"We need to play well and keep putting out good effort," Corlett said. "We need to be consistent in every area of our game, and I think the team is doing that each week."

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