Sophomore Javen Gumber will be a big part of Moffat County's plans this season. He is one of many sophomores and juniors that give the Bulldogs depth, size and talent at every position.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Sophomore Javen Gumber will be a big part of Moffat County's plans this season. He is one of many sophomores and juniors that give the Bulldogs depth, size and talent at every position.

Moffat County boys basketball will keep pressure on opponents

2013-14 Boys Basketball Schedule

Dec. 12-14 at Steamboat Springs Shootout

Dec. 20 at Olathe 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 21 vs. Gunnison 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 11 at Aspen 4 p.m.

Jan 17. at Basalt 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 at Cedaredge 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 24 vs. Coal Ridge 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 25 at Grand Valley in Parachute 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 31 vs. Olathe 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 at Gunnison 4 p.m.

Feb. 8 vs. Basalt 3:30 p.m.

Feb. 11 vs. Aspen 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 14 vs. Cedaredge 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 15 vs. Roaring Fork 3:30 p.m.

Feb. 21 at Coal Ridge in New Castle 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22 vs. Grand Valley 4 p.m.

Coming off its most successful season in years and with the majority of its players back for more, expectations are high for the Moffat County boys basketball team.

MCHS played just two seniors last season and relied on a large group of sophomores to fill most of the rest of the spots and carry much of the team’s scoring burden. All those players return for more in 2013-14, which has head coach Eric Hamilton excited for the season.

“The experience is huge because the step up from JV to varsity is a big one,” said Hamilton, entering his third year at the helm for Moffat County. “So for all these guys to have so much experience is huge for us. We’re still young, but we’ve seen it all.”

The Bulldogs lost just three games in the regular season last year and took second at the district tournament, then lost in the regional finals of the 3A state tournament. Now they want to top all those marks.

“We have a target on our back this year for sure,” said junior Tyler Davis. “We want to be winning the league and districts and regionals. We want to be right at the top.”

Moffat County jumped on most of its opponents last year with pressure defense and a fast-paced game that led to lots of layups. They want to do more of the same this season.

“We’re long and we’ve got a lot of quickness,” Hamilton said. “We have some great defenders who like to get after people so we’ll use that to our advantage.”

But the team is planning on being more than just its pressure. Sophomores Javen Gumber and Kort Hathhorn took on bigger roles near the end of the season as freshman and will bring added depth to the Bulldogs’ roster. With Gumber’s size inside and Hathhorn’s slashing ability, both figure to bring more dimensions to Moffat’s half court offense.

“I think a lot of teams will try to zone (defense) us because we’ve got Javen as a big inside and the zone will make us stay outside the three-point line more often,” said senior Taft Cleverly. “But we’ve got a lot of good shooters so hopefully we can hit some shots and make them pay.”

Moffat County will be deep and talented, but to achieve their goals they know it will take more than the skill they have right now.

“We’re going to have to come to play every night,” Hamilton said. “People are going to come prepared for us. We know we have to improve throughout the year. We know when you get to regionals and beyond that, it’s much different basketball. So that’s our mindset. We don’t take any nights off.”

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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