Box score from the MCHS boys varsity basketball team’s game Saturday at Battle Mountain High School:
(Team — 1st — 2nd — 3rd — 4th — final)
• Moffat County — 19 — 12 — 12 — 10 — 53
• Battle Mountain — 9 — 10 — 8 — 12 — 39
MCHS leading scorers:
(Name — points)
• Taft Cleverly — 18
• Colby Haddan — 14
• Andy Browning — 11
• Tyler Hildebrandt — 4
Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball players headed into their fourth game in five days Saturday against Battle Mountain.
Having lost the previous three, head coach Eric Hamilton said he told his players they needed to finish the week off strong on the road.
“I wanted the guys to be able to finish this tough week on a positive note,” Hamilton said. “We really needed to come out and get a good win.”
The Bulldogs took control of the game early, leading 19-9 after the first quarter, and never relinquished the lead in a 53-39 win on the Huskies’ home court.
“The guys played really well and played as a team,” Hamilton said. “I was really happy with their effort especially after three tough games before.”
The Bulldogs (3-9 overall, 1-2 Western Slope League) led 31-19 at halftime.
Hamilton said the gameplan was to control the paint and force Battle Mountain (5-8 overall, 0-3 WSL) to shoot the ball from the perimeter.
“Battle Mountain didn’t really have the outside shooters other teams have had, so we wanted to keep them from getting inside,” he said. “We wanted to work on a more control-type defense rather than pressure and we were able to do some good stuff.”
The Bulldogs scored most of their points inside, Hamilton said, by using dribble penetration and getting the ball inside to senior Andy Browning.
Sophomore Taft Cleverly led MCHS with 18 points, senior Colby Haddan had 14 and Browning added 11 points.
“Taft was too quick for a lot of (the Battle Mountain) guards and got some easy lay ups,” Hamilton said. “We had a size advantage down in the paint, so we capitalized on that and everyone did a good job getting the ball down low to Andy.”
The Bulldogs have taken early leads a few times this season only to see their opponent use a big run to take over the lead en route to a victory.
Hamilton said he told his players this game would be different and MCHS kept up the intensity in the third quarter, outscoring Battle Mountain, 12-8.
“I wanted the guys to go out and get an early lead then play smart basketball,” he said. “We put four quarters together, and it wasn’t up tempo, but we played controlled basketball and worked the ball on offense.”
The Bulldogs will have time to rest after the busy week before their next game Friday against Delta High School at home.
Hamilton said getting a win Saturday is a step in the right direction to building momentum the rest of the season.
“We cut down on turnovers and played smarter defense,” he said. “We are going to have to play tough defense against the strong offenses coming up and now we have something to build on.”
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