Playing his second varsity game of the season, junior Colton Conrad took advantage of his role as a bench player and came in to score 17 points during the Bulldogs 73-52 victory over the Grand Junction Central High Warriors.
Conrad hit seven field goals in the second half for the Bulldogs and cleaned up on second-chance points.
"Give Moffat County credit," Central coach Phil Cain said. "They had a good game plan and they shot really well."
The Bulldogs hit 31 field goals to Central's 21.
"They did a great job of shutting us down inside," Cain said.
Moffat County used its size advantage to seal the victory over the Warriors.
"They did a good job of getting their hands up," Cain said.
The Bulldogs came out the first quarter and jumped to a four-point lead, but Central's Brad Davison's three-point play put the Warriors back in the game.
The teams traded points for much of the quarter and as it ended, Central found itself down by a point.
The lead changed six times in the second quarter. The Bulldogs found themselves struggling to make shots, converting on four field goals and two free throws, for 10 second-quarter points.
The Warriors continued a steady pace throughout the quarter and tied the game at halftime, 27-27.
"We got fatigued," junior guard Clark Clevery said of the Bulldogs' intensity letdown in the second quarter.
As the second half got under way, the Bulldogs found an offensive rhythm and shot the ball well while Central struggled to make shots. Moffat County started the third quarter with a 16-0 run.
"They (Central) were having a bad shooting night," Cleverly said. He added, "At halftime we got our composure back. And we came out and put them away."
Cain said having his top three scorers in foul trouble for much of the game didn't help things on the Warrior bench.
"They put us on our heels the second hal,f and we were never able to recover," Cain said.
Bulldog coach Scott Parker said his team played solid basketball in the second half.
"We were making little mistakes in the first half," Parker said. "In the second half, we eliminated those mistakes."
As the lead continued to build for the Bulldogs, up 54-39 with 6 minutes, 11 seconds left to play, Moffat County continued running its smooth offense. Five straight possessions without a miss in the final three minutes of the game converted into 11 points for the Bulldogs.
"We played intense and strong," Cleverly said.
Parker agreed, and said that with a three-day tournament coming up, the Bulldogs will need to continue to play to their strengths.
On Thursday, Moffat County heads to Green River, Wyo. for a pre-holiday tournament.
- The Bulldogs had three players score in double digits (Conrad, 17; Buckner, 12; and J.T. Haddan, 15).
- In the final five possessions for Moffat County, Conrad scored nine of his 17 points.
- Central was coming off a stretch of six games in eight days.
- entral's top scorer, sophomore Clay Kame, fouled out with 6:45 left in the game.
Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moffat County Eli Buckner 5 1-6 12, Evan Hertzog 2 0-0 4, Mike Peters 4 0-1 9, J.T. Haddan 7 1-3 15, Andrew Magas 2 1-2 5, Kaleb McKey 4 0-0 8, Colton Conrad 7 0-0 17, Clark Cleverly 0 3-4 3. Totals: 31 8-26 73. Grand Junction Central Brad Davison 6 2-3 14, Blaine Jackson 1 0-0 2, Clay Kame 1 2-2 4, Nate Oliver 1 0-0 2, Corbin Reid 1 0-0 2, Joshua King 1 1-3 3, Sean Citlau 7 0-0 17, Cody Derner 3 0-1 8, Mike Wiedrich 0 0-4 0. Totals: 21 5-9 52. Moffat County 17 10 21 25 -- 73 Grand Junction 16 11 10 15 -- 52 3-pointers: MC: Peters (1), Conrad (1); GJC: Citlau (4), Derner (1). Fouled out: Clay Kame (GJC).