Zach Raftopoulos, a Moffat County High School senior, zips around a Palisade player during the Bulldogs’ run at the Palisade Tournament. During the winter break, head coach David Bradshaw hopes to improve his team’s confidence and consistency.

Photo by David Pressgrove

Zach Raftopoulos, a Moffat County High School senior, zips around a Palisade player during the Bulldogs’ run at the Palisade Tournament. During the winter break, head coach David Bradshaw hopes to improve his team’s confidence and consistency.

MCHS boys hoops team seeking to improve 1-6 record

A two-week break might be exactly what head coach David Bradshaw and the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team needed.

After starting the season with a 1-6 record, MCHS winter break means their next game isn’t until Jan. 3.

That time off, Bradshaw said, will be used to work on his team’s consistency and confidence.

“We haven’t had such a problem with our shot selection, but our consistency and our confidence haven’t been there,” he said. “The guys are working on how to handle the pressure.”

The team had non-mandatory practices this week and will do the same next week, Bradshaw said.

Thankfully, a majority of the varsity team has been able to attend.

“We have been having a lot more competition during our drills,” the Bulldogs coach said. “We need to be mentally prepared for every game the rest of the season.”

Before the season resumes, Bradshaw said his team’s offense needs work.

“Our weakness early has been with full-court pressure,” he said. “We have been running some full-court and trap against our offense the past few practices to see how they handle the pressure.”

Playing against half-court and full-court pressure in early tournaments, Bradshaw said the team has tried to dribble through the defense instead of setting up plays.

“We are working on moving without the ball and getting open,” he said. “This will allow us to pass through the pressure instead of trying to force through it.”

While the offense may need help, Bradshaw said the team’s defense has improved.

“Defensively, our team has picked it up this year,” he said. “We are consistent on defense and we make our opponents earn their points.”

After the break, the team hosts Basalt High School on Jan. 3, travels to Aspen High School on Jan. 4, and hosts Glenwood Springs High School on Jan. 8, a stretch Bradshaw called a “hard hit” after the break.

No matter the opponent, Bradshaw said his players need to prepare for every team the same.

“Early on, the guys would look at a team and think they weren’t so good,” he said. “No matter if it is the worst team or the best team, we need to be prepared to go on the court.”

When the team starts back up, they will be joined by MCHS senior Brady Conner and junior Braeden Sullivan, which Bradshaw said will add more depth and leadership to the team.

“Every team needs senior leadership,” he said. “Our seniors lead by example, lead vocally and support the younger kids.”

When all is said and done, Bradshaw said the Bulldogs playing their style of game would yield victories.

“If we execute our system and don’t let defenses speed up our tempo, we will improve,” he said.

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