Headed into Friday’s game against Delta, the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team had momentum from their first Western Slope victory.
In the first quarter, the momentum looked to push the Bulldogs to a second consecutive win when they lead the Panthers, 19-9, after one.
However, Delta put up 31 points in the second quarter to take the lead and never surrendered, beating MCHS, 82-56.
Bulldogs head coach David Bradshaw said his team capitalized on early mistakes by the Panthers to build their first quarter lead.
“We came out and played really well in the first,” he said. “They turned the ball over often and we jumped on them early.”
With multiple fouls being called against the Bulldogs in the second, Bradshaw said Delta’s 11 points at the free throw line is what got his team behind.
“In the second quarter, we were never able to get our offensive sets going,” he said. “They went 11 for 12 at the free throw line, so those are big points with the clock not running.”
The Bulldogs downfall, Bradshaw said, was the Panthers ability to get their transition game going.
Delta’s leading scorer put up four 3-pointers in the second quarter alone.
“Instead of pulling the ball and taking our time, we tried to run with (Delta), and that is not our game,” Bradshaw said. “Our defense wasn’t quick enough to rotate to take away their big shots.”
Again in the fourth quarter, Bradshaw said his team was forced to run full court pressure, a style that does not define his team.
“We are not a transition team, and we tried to play that at points in the game,” he said. “We were forced into it sometimes, and (Delta) took advantage.”
The Bulldogs are 2-12 overall, 1-3 in the Western Slope.
Junior Colby Haddan led the Bulldogs offense with 17 points while seniors Dylon Camilletti and Angelo Raftopoulos put in 15 points each.
MCHS had four players fouled out by the end of the game – Raftopoulos and fellow seniors Zach Raftopoulos, Chet Harvey and Braeden Sullivan – which Bradshaw said hurt the team in the long run.
“We don’t have enough depth to run without four players, especially starters,” he said. “It was a difficult situation at the end of the game.”
In the end, Bradshaw said the Bulldogs tried to do too much too late in the game.
“We ran the offense well in the beginning and got good looks,” he said. “In the second half, we wanted to get it back, and we just can’t do it all at once or individually.”
If the Bulldogs play another transition team like the Panthers, Bradshaw wants his team to play their style of basketball.
“We have to control the tempo of the game,” he said. “When the opponent tries to push the ball up and down the court, that is not our style.”
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