The Moffat County boys basketball team likes to get out and run as much as possible, feeling it is at its best when the ball is getting up the court quickly.
The Bulldogs had some trouble playing at their speed for part of Friday night’s game against Olathe at MCHS, but they turned on the jets in the second half.
Moffat County scored 20 points in the first 16 minutes followed by 39 in the next 16 to deliver a 59-32 win and improve to 5-1 this season. MCHS imposed its will on the Pirates starting in the third quarter and pushed the game out of reach.
“We played better in the second half,” head coach Eric Hamilton said. “We came out a little stronger, got our running game going and our pressure got to them a little bit. We just got it going in the second half and it was all about defense.”
Even in the game’s first two quarters, when the Bulldogs were playing at a slower pace dictated by Olathe, their defense was stout. The Pirates mustered just two points in the second quarter and eleven in the half.
“The defense was good, we want to score more than (we did), but it was kind of a slow pace,” Hamilton said. “They were really working it and taking time off the clock. That’s not our game but sometimes we’ll have to deal with that this season.”
After a weaker offensive first half, the Bulldogs ratcheted up the pressure and started causing more turnovers, allowing them to get easy, quick baskets in transition. Those eventually led to more rhythm on offense and hitting outside jumpers.
There also was a concerted effort in the second half to work the ball into the paint when Moffat County was in its half court sets. Hamilton said he saw a mismatch to exploit.
“I thought (Tyler Hildebrandt) was stronger than their guys and we’ve got to take advantage of that,” he said. “He’s not going to score every time but he’s doing a good job of kicking it out and that opens up our game so much more.”
Hildebrandt did not take credit for the extra push inside Friday night.
“We just at halftime sat down and coach talked about what we needed to work on and we executed it,” Hildebrandt said. “I thought we played really well as a unit. It was good team basketball.”
The Bulldogs now look to get another league win with a quick turnover in traveling to Gunnison today. The junior varsity plays at 1 p.m. while the varsity game is set to start at 4 p.m.
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.