Craig The season of high expectations has arrived for Moffat County boys basketball, which plays its first game of the season Thursday.
Before league play gets going, though, the Bulldogs will head to Steamboat Springs for the annual Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out tournament hosted by the Sailors boys and girls basketball teams. It will include a game Thursday, Friday and Saturday for Moffat County and a chance to see some of the toughest teams they’ll see all year.
Aside from Moffat at the tournament, the roster includes 4A Colorado teams Steamboat, Golden, Montezuma-Cortez and Montrose, along with 4A Wyoming school Green River. The level of competition will give MCHS a chance to impress with wins but most importantly gives it a chance to see what it will take to be the best.
Some of the teams, like Moffat County, will be playing their first games in Steamboat. But others have looked good in other early-season tournaments.
Golden is Moffat County’s first opponent in the tournament at 4 p.m. Thursday. The Demons have been impressive so far, starting the season 3-0 at their home tournament last weekend. They beat Niwot, Elizabeth and state-ranked D’Evelyn, all by double figures.
On Friday, Moffat County plays Montezuma-Cortez, which will be playing its first games of the season. Cortez’s football team had a good size, which, if it translates to basketball, will provide a good challenge for the Bulldogs’ forwards.
Based on their results from the first two games, teams will be slotted against opponents for another game Saturday. Teams will not play twice, so Moffat County will be up against Steamboat, Green River or Montrose.
In their scrimmage in Craig two weeks ago, Steamboat looked like an elite 3-point shooting team with a stable of good guards. Montrose played at the Golden tournament last weekend and went 1-2 but averaged 65 points per game in the process. Green River started its year 0-2, with big losses to Campbell County and Sheridan high schools.
While pressure defense and fast pace will be the way Moffat County looks to win, it also will be important for the Bulldogs to take strides in the areas they see as weaknesses, including the half-court offense, before league play starts next weekend.
The Saturday game will be at either 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.