Bronc Hellander attempts a foul shot during the third quarter of Saturday's CMS vs. Rangely basketball game in Craig. The eighth-grade A Team for CMS won, 22-5.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Bronc Hellander attempts a foul shot during the third quarter of Saturday's CMS vs. Rangely basketball game in Craig. The eighth-grade A Team for CMS won, 22-5.

CMS splits 8th-grade games vs. Rangely

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Ben Pugh, No. 20, hoists up a shot during the eighth-grade B Team game between Craig Middle School and Rangely on Saturday at CMS. The B Team's comeback attempt fell just short; they lost, 17-16.

Other scores...

CMS 7th-grade results from Saturday vs. Rangely at Sandrock Elementary

Rangely A 21, CMS A 13

CMS B 14, Rangely B 1

The CMS eighth-grade boys basketball team split a pair of partial games against Rangely on Saturday morning in Craig.

CMS fields two rosters for its eighth-grade basketball teams, but Rangely does not have the same level of participation, with enough athletes to fill only one roster. To make sure everyone got a chance to play and the Rangely boys weren’t run ragged, an agreement was reached to play two three-quarter games.

Head coach Drew Morris was thankful Rangely agreed so more of his players could get game experience.

“It was just six quarters today. We were lucky they were nice enough to do that for us and let everybody play,” Morris said.

In the first game at 9 a.m., the eighth-grade A Team took it to Rangely early, running up and down the court before the Panthers could get set in their 2-3 defense. A fast pace is the way Morris wants his team to play.

“We started to play a little bit better defense, and we ran our fast break much better,” he said. “That was a big improvement on the last couple games.”

Even when the 2-3 zone was set, the Bulldogs’ offense was clicking. They pounded the ball into the high post and whipped it around the perimeter to get the zone off balance.

It worked, as Joe Selbach again did well running the baseline for CMS while Bronc Hellander wreaked havoc in the paint, drawing foul after foul inside.

“Getting the ball to the high post and having our two guards flash was the idea,” Morris said. “Getting a lot of movement and ball reversals against the zone was what we were looking to do. Against a zone, if you can get the ball into the middle and your other guys move without the ball, there’s going to be a lot of open looks.”

The Bulldogs took a lead in the first quarter and never looked back, going up 15-5 after two and 22-5 after three, when the game finished.

The next game, featuring the CMS eighth-grade B Team, did not start so well. The Bulldogs were turnover prone and did not get on the board, falling behind 8-0 after the first period.

Morris said that was due in part to their lack of experience this season.

“Our B Team hasn’t had a lot of opportunity to actually play,” he said. “This was one of their first games of the season. They showed a lot of improvement over the course of the game, though.”

After continuing to struggle for the much of the second quarter, the Bulldogs suddenly found their stride down 14-4. Tough perimeter defense from CMS started forcing turnovers and easier buckets for the Bulldogs.

CMS went on an 8-0 run at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third, a furious rally in which Rangely barely got the ball inside the three-point line.

The Panthers would respond, though, and the teams traded baskets until the score was 17-16 with two minutes to play.

Despite a multitude of opportunities, the Bulldogs couldn’t find the net. An excruciating sequence of offensive rebounds and near misses sealed the B Team’s fate when Rangely regained possession and the clock ran out.

Morris was not too worried about the loss. He liked what he saw in the latter half of the game.

“They played much better defense, they played better offense, and they calmed down,” he said. “You saw what they could do.”

CMS plays next at Rawlins at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Wyoming.

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.

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