Hitting the hardwood

Boys basketball team tips off against Fruita today

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When the Moffat County High School boys basketball team tips off today at 5:30 p.m. against Fruita-Monument at the high school, the matchup should be fairly even, senior Evan Hertzog said.

"They're full of seniors," he said. "But we always play them tough. And with the group we have now, I think we have more talent."

The Fruita-Monument Wild--cats are coming off a 1-2 record at the Warrior Challenge in Grand Junction.

The Bulldogs played a preseason scrimmage with Leadville last weekend and are now determined to strengthen themselves as a team and clean up small mistakes.

The goal for the boys basketball team is to play pressure defense, coach Scott Parker said. Parker said last week's practices didn't have much to do with preparing for Fruita, but were more about building offensive and defensive chemistry on the floor.

"We need to be more conscience of what we're doing than what they do well," Parker said. "They're athletic, they have their big man back, and they can always shoot."

The big man Parker referred to is 6-foot-3 senior Lane Ennis, who averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game last season.

Parker said the Bulldogs have functioned well in the preseason.

"We've hit the fundamentals and defense hard," Parker said.

Junior Clark Cleverly said the hours spent in the gym and in the weight room should pay off.

"I think we're ready, and we'll be strong," Cleverly said. "We have a lot better perimeter game this year."

Parker agreed, "The kids who are dedicated can see the difference (weight lifting has made) on the basketball court."

Sophomore Mike Peters said the Bulldogs' quickness is one of their biggest strengths.

Parker said having the first two games at home is also to the Bulldogs' benefit.

"Last year, we had to go to (Grand) Junction twice," Parker said. "It'll be nice to have two games both at home against quality opponents."

Moffat County's other home game is against Grand Junction Central High School at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or mmcdaniels@craigdailypress.com.

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