MCHS boys basketball hangs on in 57-55 victory Thursday
Box score from the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team’s game Thursday at Central Grand Junction High School:
(1st — 2nd — 3rd — 4th — final)
• Moffat County — 18 — 12 — 16 — 11 — 57
• Central — 10 — 16 — 14 — 15 — 55
MCHS leading scorers:
(Name — points)
• Colby Haddan — 14
• Andy Browning — 10
• Braeden Sullivan — 10
• Taft Cleverly — 10
Eric Hamilton said he was looking for the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team to play four quarters of basketball Thursday at Central Grand Junction High School.
The Warriors heaved a 3-point shot with two seconds remaining in the fourth and the Bulldogs grabbed the rebound to sew up a 57-55 victory.
Hamilton, the Bulldogs’ head coach, said his team played its most complete game of the season.
“I thought the guys played an excellent ball game,” Hamilton said. “It was a fun, fast-paced game and the guys did a good job of hanging tough all four quarters.”
The Bulldogs (2-5) held a 30-26 halftime lead and led by six heading into the fourth quarter.
The Warriors tied the game up in the final minutes, but MCHS sophomore Taft Cleverly hit two late lay-ups to put the Bulldogs up for good.
“The seven guys we played tonight played excellent and played together as a team,” Hamilton said. “Central never stopped battling back, even when we were up by 10, but our guys were mentally focused.
“We couldn’t pull away, but we were focused enough to never give them the lead.”
Senior Colby Haddan led the Bulldogs with 14 points while Cleverly and seniors Andy Browning and Braeden Sullivan added 10 points each.
Hamilton said it was the Bulldogs’ transition game and quickness that was the difference maker.
“Taft did a good job in the fourth quarter of being quicker than the (Central) players and he kept attacking,” he said. “I really think our transition game is what won it for us (Thursday), and all the players clicked at the same time.”
Hamilton said the offense still has a few things to work on, but it is the defense where the team needs the most improvement.
“Central was very patient with the ball and they looked for open shots and sometimes we fell asleep,” he said. “We have to be able to consistently play tough defense against good teams who can score.”
The Bulldogs will open Western Slope League play Saturday at Glenwood Springs High School.
Hamilton said getting a hard-fought victory in early January is what the Bulldogs needed heading into the next part of their season.
“This win is a huge confidence builder and it got the guys spirits up and got them really excited,” he said. “We got a win, a close win, and it feels good.”