In a strange first game of the season, Moffat County dug itself too big a hole to get out of in Steamboat.
The Bulldogs took on Golden in their first game at the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out on Thursday and fell behind by 20 at halftime before losing by nine, 78-69.
Moffat County was dominated in the first half by Golden, which improved to 4-1 this season after winning its home tournament last weekend. The Demons grabbed double-digit offensive rebounds in the first half and scored in the paint over and over against Moffat County’s defense.
“Rebounding was a big issue for us in the first half,” junior Matt Hamilton said. “We needed to be more physical and take it to the hole more.”
After MCHS tied the game at 14 late in the first quarter, Golden got two baskets to finish the quarter, then scored the first 10 points in the second to take a 28-14 lead. Moffat County fell asleep in that quarter, which Golden won 28-12 to take a 46-26 lead at halftime.
“They beat us on the glass, they controlled the post,” head coach Eric Hamilton said. “We just didn’t come out ready to play today.”
In the second half, the Bulldogs rallied to within nine points, before Golden hit three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to push the lead back out to 19. Moffat County again rallied in the fourth and closed to within 71-65 with 3:45 left but would get no closer.
“You take away the first half, and I’m really proud of the guys,” Eric Hamilton said. “They were down 20 and battled back, and we won the second half by 11 points.”
Moffat County used its pressure defense more in the second half and created easier opportunities but looked like a different team all around.
“It started with our defense,” Matt Hamilton said. “We pressed, and they made turnovers, and we were able to score more.”
After seeing its lead cut to six, Golden scored to push the lead back out and was able to hold off Moffat from the foul line in the closing minutes.
It dropped Moffat County to 0-1 this season, with a game against Montezuma-Cortez on Friday in Steamboat.
“It is rough to lose the first game of the year, but that was a heck of a team we played,” Matt said. “We’ll come back tomorrow with more fire and be ready to play.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.