Tyler Davis, a Moffat County High School freshman, dribbles on the perimeter Dec. 8 during the Steamboat Springs Shootout. The MCHS boys varsity basketball team is 1-5 after two early season tournaments. Head coach Eric Hamilton said he hopes to see more scoring as Western Slope League play begins Jan. 7.

File photo

Tyler Davis, a Moffat County High School freshman, dribbles on the perimeter Dec. 8 during the Steamboat Springs Shootout. The MCHS boys varsity basketball team is 1-5 after two early season tournaments. Head coach Eric Hamilton said he hopes to see more scoring as Western Slope League play begins Jan. 7.

Coach: MCHS boys hoops needs more scoring punch

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Season at a glance ...

The Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team’s 2011-12 season so far:

(Date — location — opponent — outcome)

• Dec. 8 — away — Windsor High School — 95-48L

• Dec. 9 — away — Green River High School — 50-47W

• Dec. 10 — away — Castle View High School — 64-51L

• Dec. 16 — away — Montrose High School — 78-51L

• Dec. 17 — away — Olathe High School — 55-36L

• Dec. 17 — away — Denver North High School — 62-56L

— MCHS is 1-5 overall

Schedule ...

The Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team’s January schedule:

(Date — location — opponent)

• Jan. 5 — away — Central Grand Junction High School

• Jan. 7 — away — Glenwood Springs High School

• Jan. 10 — home — Aspen High School

• Jan. 11 — away — Grand Junction High School

• Jan. 13 — home — Eagle Valley High School

• Jan. 14 — away — Battle Mountain High School

• Jan. 20 — home — Delta High School

• Jan. 21 — home — Palisade High School

• Jan. 24 — home — Steamboat Springs High School

Top scorers ...

The Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team’s top scorers:

(Player — total points — points per game)

• Andy Browning — 60 — 10

• Colby Haddan — 60 — 10

• Taft Cleverly — 39 — 6.5

• Jacob Scroggs — 37 — 6.2

• Braeden Sullivan — 36 — 6

The Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team’s season hasn’t gone quite the way new head coach Eric Hamilton expected.

Hamilton, who took over the team during the summer after former coach David Bradshaw resigned, has gone 1-5 through two early-season tournaments.

Hamilton, a former MCHS hoops player, a two-year college player and a coach who saw playoff success for the Hayden High School girls team, brought the right attitude to a team that has been on the losing end lately.

But, the coach said it’s going to take time with so many new parts before the Bulldogs break bad habits.

“I feel we could easily be 3-3, but there were a few games we didn’t finish,” Hamilton said. “These guys all see the potential our team can have, and every day in practice each guy improves and the team improves as a whole.

“We are 1-5 right now, so we have to go with that and we feel good heading into January.”

The Bulldogs opened the season Dec. 8 in the Steamboat Springs Shootout.

The team’s sole victory was a 50-47 win over Green River High School in the second round.

On Dec. 16 and 17, the Bulldogs played three games in the Black Canyon Classic at Montrose High School, falling in all three.

In the last game against Denver North High School, the Bulldogs led by 10 at halftime, but allowed 42 points in the second half en route to a 62-56 loss.

Hamilton said inexperience is one of the main factors in late-game mistakes.

“This group of guys is still learning to play together and pull together as a team,” he said. “We still need to learn to play four solid quarters and that will come as they play together in more pressure situations.

“These guys have confidence, they just need to close out games.”

It hasn’t been all missteps though, Hamilton said.

The Bulldogs defense improved from a season ago, and when the shooting comes around, he said the two would play off each other.

“Our defense definitely has the intensity and hustle we need on the court,” Hamilton said. “One of our biggest weaknesses is scoring the basketball but once we turn that, our defense will control the game and we will see more wins.”

Seniors Andy Browning and Colby Haddan lead the team in scoring, averaging 10 points per game each.

Sophomore Taft Cleverly and seniors Jacob Scroggs and Braeden Sullivan are each averaging around six points per game.

Hamilton said the team would continue to work on offense throughout the holiday break.

“We have been working on shooting every night and we just need to clean up our offense and develop some scorers,” he said. “I think if we give the players some new freedom and not get so set in one way, we will see guys creating their own offense.”

The Bulldogs resume the season Jan. 5 at Central Grand Junction High School before opening Western Slope League play Jan. 7 at Glenwood Springs High School.

Hamilton said he is ready to get going as a first-year coach in the league.

“I have tried to keep up with what teams are doing and it looks like the league is a very solid pack,” he said. “When you play (Class) 4A basketball, every game is going to be very competitive and you have to come to play every night.

“We have set our goals high this year and are going to be very competitive in the league.”

One game Hamilton said he is looking forward to the most is the Jan. 24 match-up against Steamboat Springs High School at MCHS.

Hamilton said he had a chance to see the Sailors play in the Steamboat Springs Shootout and feels the two rivals will match up nicely.

“Steamboat is going to be super tough this year, but the game has the chance to be one of the highlights of our season,” he said. “Both teams’ strength is defense, so the offenses will have their hands full.”

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Comments

Cole White 2 years, 11 months ago

I had someone point out to me recently the number of players from another school that are currently playing Division 1A football. I was very impressed by the number of student athletes getting full ride scholarships because of a successful high school athletic program. I tried looking up how many MCHS football players were playing at Division 1A schools and I couldn't come up with any. I had this in the back of my mind over the last little while when I found out that there are now at least four young men in our area whose parents are planning on having them go to high school away from home so that they can get exposed to a solid program and have a real chance of receiving a college scholarship to play football.

High school athletics are free falling in Moffat County. Eventually we will need to look at getting rid of team sports and replace it with an intermural program. This would improve participation and may even help push more kids to be healthier and even possibly pursuade those who really want to play for a good program to transfer out to other schools by the time they get into high school rather than hopelessly longing for a real program here in Moffat County.

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