The Moffat County High School boys' freshmen and junior varsity basketball teams finished the season 10-9 and gained valuable experience along the way, coaches said.
Dave Bradshaw was at the helm of the JV team, which finished 10-4 in Western Slope play.
Freshmen coach Jamie McAnally finished his first season with records of 7-2 and 10-9.
Bradshaw credited 5-foot-5 inch sophomore Oscar Ramos for making his squad better.
Ramos joined the team after the holiday break.
"He was a floor leader," Bradshaw said. "He made a big difference and limited our turnovers. With Oscar, we went 10-2 in the second half of the season. With him on the floor, it made everyone on the team that much better."
Bradshaw said one of the big wins of the year came against previously undefeated Glenwood Springs.
"Looking back on the year, one of the highlights was the way we came together after a rough start," Bradshaw said. "We played a couple of 5A teams early and got beat, and were not at full-strength early. I think it really all came together in the second half of the year. We played well as a unit."
In addition to Ramos, 6-foot-2 inch sophomore Logan Foster led the team in rebounding and 6-foot-3 inch classmate Chayton Owens was the team's leading scorer.
Another season highlight, Bradshaw said, was a 20-point home victory against rival Steamboat Springs. He said the victory avenged an earlier lopsided loss against the Sailors.
This was Bradshaw's final season at MCHS. He and his wife moved to Windsor shortly after the end of the season, where they co-own a wine and spirit shop.
After compiling a 2-13 record last year, the freshmen team made sizable improvements.
McAnally said he nicknamed the team "road warriors" after they racked up a 5-3 record in their first eight road games.
"I think it is a good sign for the future of MCHS boys basketball," McAnally said. "It was great to introduce them to the program that Scott (varsity coach Parker) runs."
The first-year coach is a 1987 graduate of MCHS and recently returned to town to become the co-owner of American Northwest Realty.
McAnally cited the team's success to the play of a half-dozen teens.
Brian Ivy has a bright future for the program, Jordon Wilson played well despite an injury, Jeremiah Gordon, Frank Archuleta, Mitch Sammons and Andrew Raftopoulos were all key contributors, he said.
"It was a pleasure working with these kids, " McAnally said. "I think I learned a lot and, hopefully, they did as well."
On the girls side, fifth-year JV coach Matt Ray and his squad had a successful season at 17-2.
Ray said he was happy with the overall consistent play of the girls.
Unlike the varsity and freshmen teams that had double-digit players on the roster, the JV squad played the entire year with six players.
Most of the core JV girls were able to get varsity experience, Ray said.
The freshmen girls basketball team compiled an overall record of 11-6 under first-year coach Norm Yoast.
Yoast said the squad began the year as tentative shooters, but improved as the season progressed.
"Defensively, we improved a lot, and, of the six losses, only one was to a fellow freshmen team," Yoast said. Five of the team's six losses came against JV opponents, and one of the team's bigger wins came against Vernal, Utah.
He said looking back on the year, he considers it a good group of girls and thinks they can step up to the JV level.
Drew Turner can be contacted at 970-824-7031, ext 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org