Tyler Hildebrandt, a Moffat County High School junior, scored 10 points Friday at Eagle Valley, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Devils’ red-hot perimeter shooting in a 71-43 loss. Head coach Eric Hamilton said Eagle Valley set the tempo earlier and the Bulldogs couldn’t keep up.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Tyler Hildebrandt, a Moffat County High School junior, scored 10 points Friday at Eagle Valley, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Devils’ red-hot perimeter shooting in a 71-43 loss. Head coach Eric Hamilton said Eagle Valley set the tempo earlier and the Bulldogs couldn’t keep up.

MCHS boys basketball outmatched in 71-43 loss to Eagle Valley

Results ...

Box score from the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team’s game Friday at Eagle Valley High School:

(Team — 1st — 2nd — 3rd — 4th — final)

• Moffat County — 8 — 12 — 8 — 15 — 43

• Eagle Valley — 25 — 11 — 22 — 13 — 71

MCHS leading scorers:

(Name — points)

• Andy Browning — 10

• Tyler Hildebrandt — 10

• Colby Haddan — 9

The game plan for the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team Friday at Eagle Valley was to control the tempo and slow the game down.

But, no matter how hard the Bulldogs tried, head coach Eric Hamilton said Eagle Valley forced the contest into a running match, one the Devils easily controlled.

Moffat County struggled early to keep Eagle Valley at bay and couldn’t keep up with the scoring pace in a 71-43 loss on the road.

“We played alright at times, but (Eagle Valley) is just a great ball team who can shoot lights out,” Hamilton said. “It was senior night there so they were motivated, and were in the game and we were just outmatched.”

The Bulldogs (3-13 overall, 1-6 Western Slope League) trailed 25-8 after the first quarter and 36-20 at halftime.

In the two teams’ first game Jan. 13 at MCHS, the Devils (15-5 overall, 7-2 WSL) used control in the paint to leave with a 65-47 victory.

On Friday, Hamilton said Eagle Valley’s first shot most of the night came from the outside.

“We played OK at times (defensively), but they have shooters and an inside game, so it is really hard to defend,” he said. “They were red hot from shooting outside, and when we came out to guard them, they threw it inside and there just wasn’t much we could do.”

Senior Andy Browning and junior Tyler Hildebrandt each scored 10 points to lead the Bulldogs and senior Colby Haddan contributed nine points.

Hamilton said his players found out they couldn’t run with the Eagle Valley and needed to slow the pace down to run an efficient offense.

And, while the Bulldogs did some good things, it was the pacing that ultimately cost them.

“(Eagle Valley) plays a really good press and they caused a lot of turnovers and that hurt us,” he said. “Probably slowing the game to a crawl would have helped, but we know we have some things to work on still.”

Hamilton said the Bulldogs need to look for little gains when playing a superior team like Eagle Valley.

“We want to try and do exactly what we talked about before the game and try and get things set up as good as possible,” he said. “We were outmatched, and we wanted to try and keep it close, but it got a little out of hand with two 20-point quarters from them.”

The Bulldogs play Battle Mountain at 3:30 p.m. today at home.

Battle Mountain was Moffat County’s first and only league victory earlier this season and the Bulldogs will be looking to get their first home win of the season today.

“The guys are fired up and they will play hard (today),” Hamilton said. “One thing these guys have is the ability to keep their heads up and work hard. I feel very confident we will play really hard and get a win at home.”

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