MCHS boys and girls basketball teams open WSL slate at Glenwood

If you go …

What: MCHS boys and girls varsity basketball teams v. Glenwood Springs High School

When: Girls — 12:30 p.m. today

When: Boys — 3:30 p.m. today

Where: Glenwood Springs High School, 1521 Grand Ave.

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

As first-year coach of the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team, Eric Hamilton said he’s ready to begin Western Slope League play.

The Bulldogs (2-5 overall) play at 3:30 p.m. today at Glenwood Springs High School, 1521 Grand Ave.

“Every league game is huge and important to us,” Hamilton said. “We have to look at every game in our league as a do-or-die situation and we need to go in with the mindset that we need a big win.

“We can take the momentum from the Central (Grand Junction) game and play tough on the road.”

The Bulldogs and Demons have one common opponent — Central Grand Junction.

Moffat County won by two Thursday and Glenwood beat the Warriors, 52-49, on Dec. 6.

The Demons have two players averaging double-figure points — senior Mike McGraw with 15.4 and junior Collin Porterfield with 13.1.

Hamilton said how the Bulldogs play defense is going to determine the outcome of today’s contest.

“We need to control the paint more with our big guys,” he said. “Finishing up every possession is important and we can’t let our opponent work the ball and get great shots. If we can keep them out of the paint and give them one contested shot and then rebound, we will be sitting good.”

The Bulldogs’ offense, however, started running on all cylinders Thursday against the Warriors, Hamilton said.

“We started to see a lot better transition game coming out of the break,” he said. “Being able to win a tight game and close the deal was a confidence builder and our offense is starting to click now.”

Battle at the top

The MCHS girls varsity basketball team and the Glenwood Springs girls basketball team ended last season tied atop the league standings, along with Delta.

This season, Bulldogs head coach Matt Ray said he wants to be the lone team leading the WSL.

The path starts today as MCHS battles Glenwood at 12:30 p.m. on the Demons’ home court.

“The girls are pumped to play and know this is one of our biggest games all season,” Ray said. “If we can beat (Glenwood) on their court, we will be in control. We have to stick to our gameplan and not let the game get out of hand.”

Last season, the Bulldogs (7-3 overall) beat Glenwood on the road but lost at home.

Ray said MCHS needs to steal one on the road if they want to take control of the league this year.

“We always want to be the leader, especially after last season,” he said. “If we win (today), we will have the advantage heading into the other games against the rest of the league.

“This is our first league game and it is the biggest, so we are really excited.”

Ray said he expects Glenwood to run a 1-3-1 zone against the Bulldogs.

But, with a strong interior game and help on the outside, he believes his team is up to the task.

“Against the zone, we are going to need to be patient and take advantage of the looks they give us,” he said. “If we can post up inside and work the ball with our guards, we will be able to run our style of game.

“It is going to be a fun match-up with two of the league’s best teams.”

Joshua Gordon can be reached at 875-1795 or joshgordon@craigdailypress.com.

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