It was a two-win Saturday morning at Craig Middle School, as the Bulldogs took down Hayden in boys basketball.
The seventh- and eighth-grade teams were playing their second game of the season, after it tipped off Thursday in Baggs, Wyo. At 9 a.m., the seventh-graders played Hayden to a 7-5 halftime score after both teams struggled to hit shots in the first half.
In the third quarter, however, the Bulldogs turned it on, putting together a 7-2 quarter for a 14-7 lead. Coach Justin Folley said the biggest difference was rebounding.
“We went in at halftime and I kind of gave them a little challenge,” Folley said. “I said Hayden shouldn’t get a rebound in the second half, and I don’t think they did in the third quarter. (CMS players) did what they were supposed to. It was nice.”
The seventh-graders then would coast to a 19-9 final score. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but Folley knows it will be a work in progress at the beginning of the year.
“I’m just looking for us to be running our offense and working hard,” he said. “A lot of the time, we get kids that think they’re better than they are. This group, they work well together, so I want to see good teamwork and making things run the way they’re supposed to. There’s some things we’ve got to work on to get ready for next week, but we’ll get there.”
Because Hayden did not have enough boys to field two seventh- and eighth-grade teams, many of the same boys played against the CMS eighth-grade B Team in Saturday’s other game.
The mismatch was evident in the second quarter, when the Bulldogs shook off a sluggish first to explode for 16 points and go into the half with a 21-2 lead. Coach Todd Hildebrandt exploited Hayden’s 2-3 zone by getting the ball to the baseline for most of the quarter.
Joe Selbach was running the baseline for CMS, and he reaped the benefits with aggressive play. Selbach scored 12 of his 21 points in the quarter, getting to the basket time after time and finishing.
Selbach “did really well just being aggressive,” Hildebrandt said. “It worked out well for him. I think it all started with our defense. We emphasized the defense in practice this week, and it was good out there.”
The Bulldogs forced turnovers throughout the game and ended up winning, 33-16.
It was a good day for CMS, and Hildebrandt liked what he saw.
“For the most part … they’re playing with a lot of energy and effort,” he said. “We push them in practice to play at a high pace. It may look ugly at times, but eventually it starts coming, and today it was coming together better.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.