MCHS boys basketball team improves to 4-0 in league play

BBoys basketball statistics:

Score by quarter:

Team 1 2 3 4 total

PHS (0-12) 13 12 15 6 46

MCHS (8-5) 24 14 21 23 82

Individual scoring:

PHS: Hyde 5 1-3 11, Josey 0 0-0 0, Gunthe 1 1-2 3, Blackmon 0 1-2 1, Zarlingo 0 0-0 0, Hall 3 0-0 8, Hayden 4 2-2 11, Gomez 0 0-0 0, Bond 1 0-0 2, Edmiston 3 2-5 8, Yanez 1 1-3 4. Totals 17 (4) 8-15 46.

MCHS: Ramos 1 0-0 3, Jackson 5 1-2 13, Willbanks 7 1-3 15, Peters 4 3-5 11, Camilletti 2 1-2 6, Carlson 0 0-0 0, Noble 1 0-0 3, Owens 10 2-3 22, Z. Raftopoulos 1 0-0 3, Gordon 0 0-0 0, Wilson 1 2-2 4, A. Raftopoulos 1 0-0 2. Totals 33 (6) 10-17 82.

Three-point baskets - Moffat County 6 (Jackson 2, Noble, Raftopoulos, Camilletti, Ramos); Palisade 4 (Hall 2, Hayden, Yanez).

So much different than a year ago.

The Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team ran circles around visiting Palisade on Saturday, cruising to an 82-46 victory.

The win moved the Bulldogs to a perfect 4-0 in Western Slope League play in 2008-09, a complete turnaround from last year's 0-4 league start.

"It's a year of experience with good kids," MCHS coach Steve Maneotis said. "We are just trying to stay focused, play our game and continue to get better. All that other stuff will fall into place if we do those things on a night-in and night-out basis."

Palisade (0-12 overall, 0-4 WSL) was overmatched the minute they stepped on the floor.

Moffat County (8-5 overall, 4-0 WSL) jumped out to a 22-8 first-quarter lead and never looked back.

Senior post player Chayton Owens led four MCHS players in double figures, tallying a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds.

Power forward Kelton Willbanks was his usual quiet self on the court, but not when the final stats were tallied.

Willbanks worked his way to 15 points and nine rebounds.

"That guy is just steady and consistent," Maneotis said. "He's one of those quiet guys that makes a team go."

Point guard Mike Peters (11 points, six assists and three steals) and small forward Collin Jackson (13 points, six steals and three assists) constantly drove through the Palisade defense on their way to finding either an open shot or an open teammate.

"Our chemistry is a lot better," Peters said. "We're just getting going. Our preseason schedule was really beneficial for us."

Moffat County earned its perfect league record against teams with a combined 5-37 record. So how does a team stay focused against weaker competition?

"We were in that situation last year," Peters said. "So, we were real familiar with not winning right away. We know to keep level-headed, and coach always puts us in check."

Moffat County led by 13 points at the half and by 19 entering the fourth quarter.

A 3-pointer by MCHS senior Thomas Noble put the home team up 33 with less than three minutes to play, prompting Maneotis to empty his bench.

"Simply put, they're just better than we are," Palisade coach Steve Phillips said. "They are more experienced, they work harder, they shot a good percentage and they're aggressive. Jeez, they're just really good."

Sophomore Zach Raftopoulos drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer, putting an exclamation point on the 36-point win.

Junior Jeremy Hayden and senior Rylie Josey led Palisade's offense, scoring 11 points apiece.

Junior varsity

MCHS 59, Palisade 48

MCHS sophomore Dustin Carlson scored a team-high 22 points in the victory. Angelo Raftopoulos added 13, and Jeremiah Gordon, 11. Sophomore Aaron Sakala and junior Donnie Stewart, who tallied 10 points, led Palisade. Ernie Baier pitched in with nine.

Freshman

Vernal 46, MCHS 43

Andy Browning led the Bulldogs with 10 points. Colby Haddan contributed eight, and Dustin Carlson, seven.

Daryl Reasch scored a game-high 21 points to lead Vernal.

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