Brady Conner, a Moffat County High School senior, puts the ball up in the lane during the MCHS boys varsity basketball team’s game Feb. 4. The Bulldogs close out what’s been a difficult season tonight against rival Steamboat Springs.

Photo by Brian Smith

Brady Conner, a Moffat County High School senior, puts the ball up in the lane during the MCHS boys varsity basketball team’s game Feb. 4. The Bulldogs close out what’s been a difficult season tonight against rival Steamboat Springs.

MCHS boys hoops team to finish season against rival Steamboat

If you go

What: Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball game vs. Steamboat Springs High School

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: MCHS, 900 Finley Lane

— Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students

A season of struggles and disappointment comes to a conclusion tonight for the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team.

But, given the Bulldogs are slated to face Steamboat Springs in their season finale, the home team has a chance to go out on a winning note against a longtime rival.

“A win tonight would be a positive step toward next year,” MCHS coach David Bradshaw said. “This is like a playoff game for our guys because we probably won’t make the playoffs this year.”

The Bulldogs will play their last game at 7:30 p.m. at MCHS, 900 Finley Lane.

MCHS is 2-19 overall and 1-10 in the Western Slope League. Steamboat boasts a 14-7 overall record and a 9-2 mark in the league, good for second place.

In the last game against the Sailors on Jan. 28, the Bulldogs led late in the game, but a foul allowed Steamboat to win on free throws, 51-50.

This time around, Bradshaw said his team has to close the game out.

“Last time we fell a little short and it was a tough loss for us,” he said. “I think we will approach this game the same way.

“We had a pretty good game plan last time and we executed it fairly well against the number two team in the league.”

Bradshaw said tonight’s game might be tougher than the last — Steamboat has won seven straight games.

“(Steamboat) is on a roll right now and is playing really well,” he said. “They rely on their quickness and have a good perimeter game, which has worked for them lately.”

MCHS senior Dylon Camilletti said a win tonight would mean a lot to the senior class.

“(The seniors) have only beat Steamboat once in all four years,” he said. “It is weird to think this is our last game ever, but I will go out and play my hardest.”

Camilletti said the senior class has stayed together and a win over Steamboat would show their hard work paid off.

“In the beginning, some were on junior varsity and some were on the freshman team, but we stuck together to this point,” he said. “This will be a good game to go out on.”

Bradshaw said his team would again have to control Steamboat’s point guard, Isiah Forsyth.

“Forsyth is one of the fastest and best point guards in our league,” he said. “If we can control the perimeter shooters and force them to go inside, I think we have a better chance.”

The Bulldogs will be without senior post player Angelo Raftopoulos tonight.

The team learned Wednesday that Raftopoulos has a partial posterior cruciate ligament tear in his knee.

The injury also held Raftopoulos out of the Glenwood Springs game Tuesday.

“I thought we controlled the inside game in the last game, but with (Raftopoulos) out, he will be a big loss,” Bradshaw said. “We have to move the ball well without him and set good screens.”

Separated by less than 50 miles, Bradshaw said part of the difficulty in planning against Steamboat is the two teams’ knowledge of each other.

“We know their personnel and they know ours,” he said. “I don’t think either team has an advantage because of the familiarity.”

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