Box score from the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team’s Saturday game against Castle View High School in the Steamboat Springs Shootout:
(Team — 1st — 2nd — 3rd — 4th — final)
• Moffat County — 10 — 19 — 14 — 8 — 51
• Castle View — 15 — 16 — 22 — 11 — 64
MCHS leading scorers:
(Name — points)
• Andy Browning — 16
• Colby Haddan — 11
• Taft Cleverly — 8
• Tyler Hildebrandt — 6
• Jacob Scroggs — 4
Despite trailing 10-2 early in Saturday’s contest, the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team wasn’t going to go quietly.
The Bulldogs faced Castle View High School in the fifth- and sixth-place game of the Steamboat Springs Shootout, and used multiple runs to stay in the game, but ultimately fell to consistent shooting from Castle View in a 64-51 loss.
But, it was determination from his players that has MCHS coach Eric Hamilton excited for the rest of the season.
“This tournament was great for us,” he said. “We had a tough win (Friday) and I think we were just tired against Castle View, but we definitely did some things we can build off of and get ready for the rest of the season.”
Like the Bulldogs’ first opponent in the tournament, Windsor, the Sabercats used scoring from beyond the arc to pull ahead 15-10 after the first quarter.
Senior Colby Haddan opened the second quarter with back-to-back jumpers to pull within five points and baskets from junior Tyler Hildebrandt and sophomore Taft Cleverly tied the game at 19-19.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game, 21-20, after a lay-up from senior Jacob Scroggs with under 3 minutes left in the half.
But, again, Castle View relied on 3-pointers, hitting three in a row to take a 31-29 halftime lead.
“We didn’t match-up well against their shooters and they were quick enough to get the shot they wanted,” Hamilton said. “They were well coached and I thought they did a nice job, so it was just hard to defend that.”
The Bulldogs (1-2) went down by eight early in the third quarter, but two lay-ups from Hildebrandt pulled MCHS within three at 44-41, before Castle View pulled ahead for good.
Senior Andy Browning led the Bulldogs with 16 points, Haddan had 11, Cleverly had eight and Hildebrandt added six.
While his team was salty defensively, Hamilton said offensively the Bulldogs were out of sync the whole game.
“We tried to create too many individual things without running what we had set up,” he said. “We made two good runs, and we were still in a position to win the game at one point, but they were on fire shooting and we weren’t.”
The Bulldogs will play in the Montrose Tournament on Friday and Saturday at Montrose High School.
With the Steamboat Springs Shootout being a good start to the season, Hamilton said it’s important his players keep working this week to get better.
“Our offensive sets and our scoring needs to improve,” he said. “We need to figure out where guys need to be, and that will come with these guys playing together. We have a lot of new guys, so we just need to feel things out right now.”