Taft Cleverly drives down the court during the eighth-grade Craig Middle School basketball game Tuesday night against Rawlins Middle School. Cleverly led the team in scoring with 24 points in the Bulldogs’ 40-27 win against the Colts.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Taft Cleverly drives down the court during the eighth-grade Craig Middle School basketball game Tuesday night against Rawlins Middle School. Cleverly led the team in scoring with 24 points in the Bulldogs’ 40-27 win against the Colts.

CMS basketball 7th- and 8th-grade teams win against Colts

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Craig Middle School eighth-grade basketball coach David Grabowski, right, praises Colten Yoast during Tuesday night’s against Rawlins Middle School. The Bulldogs won the game, 40-27.

Game results

Craig Middle School eighth-grade basketball box score against Rawlins (Wyo.) Middle School

Team/1st/2nd/3rd/4th/Final

Rawlins Middle School/8/4/8/7/27

Craig Middle School/11/8/8/13/40

Despite a 40-27 victory against the Rawlins (Wyo.) Middle School Colts on Tuesday, Craig Middle School’s Taft Cleverly said the Bulldogs still have room to grow.

“There’s always things we need to improve,” he said. “You will never be perfect, and we still have things to work on.”

If the Bulldogs continue to improve, there might not be a team that can stop them.

Playing at home, Cleverly lead the eighth-grade Bulldogs with 24 points, and the guard was equally effective on defense, forcing several turnovers.

The high-paced Bulldogs were able to enjoy the game against the Colts, Cleverly said.

“Pretty much, it was a fun game,” he said. “The team was working well together.”

Between the rebounding, scoring, passing and defense, the Bulldogs were able to assert themselves, Cleverly said.

“It was a full team effort,” he said. “Nobody was trying to outscore anybody else on the team. We were all just trying to win.”

Rawlins coach Brian An­­derson said the Colts are a work in progress.

“We’ve been working on a new offense, and I thought they were better than they have been all week,” he said. “I thought they ran the offense better today than they have in the past. We have a new defense, and I thought they ran that well, too.”

For Rawlins, Lane Potraz scored 13 points, Cesar Garcia scored seven, Tristan Williams scored three and Lucas Randolph and Christian Isi each scored two points.

Rawlins jumped out to an early 3-0 lead as Potraz sunk a three-pointer on the Colts’ first possession.

CMS came roaring back behind Thorin Jackson and Cleverly, and led, 11-8, after the first quarter.

The second quarter was a defensive battle, and the Bulldogs went into halftime holding a 19-12 advantage.

The Colts hung tough with the Bulldogs at the start of the second half, and they entered the last quarter of play trailing, 27-20.

But Cleverly and Jackson combined for seven points, and the Bulldogs were able to outlast Rawlins to take the game.

The CMS seventh-grade team was also victorious, 32-17, against Rawlins.

Anderson said he saw a lot of positive things from the Colts on Tuesday.

“They improved as the game went on,” he said. “Every week, they improve.”

Anderson said the Colts will need to focus on boxing-out and finishing lay-ups.

One of the reasons Rawlins struggled to box-out was center Colter Tegtman.

The Bulldogs’ big man was solid on defense, and he scored eight points.

“I thought I played well,” he said. “I had a lot of help from my team, though. It was an entire team effort, and when we play together we play our best.”

Along with Jorge Torres and Jackson, Tegtman forced Rawlins out of the paint.

Jackson scored six points and Colten Yoast added two for the Bulldogs.

The full team effort was an improvement from earlier games, Tegtman said.

“We’ve had a couple of slow games, but we’ve bounced back in the last few,” he said. “Today we were pretty good, but not our best.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.

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