Taft Cleverly looks to drive Saturday in Steamboat Springs. Moffat County beat Montrose, 76-73, in its final game at the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out. The Bulldogs took third place in the tournament and will begin league play with a 2-1 record.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Taft Cleverly looks to drive Saturday in Steamboat Springs. Moffat County beat Montrose, 76-73, in its final game at the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out. The Bulldogs took third place in the tournament and will begin league play with a 2-1 record.

Moffat County boys basketball holds off Montrose to take 3rd in Steamboat

Bulldogs scoring vs. Montrose

Javen Gumber 17

Matt Hamilton 16

Kort Hathhorn 15

Denton Taylor 10

Tyler Davis 6

Joe Camilletti 4

Taft Cleverly 4

Dylan Kincade 4

In the all-important third game of the weekend, Moffat County battled foul trouble during a game against Montrose to come away from the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out with a winning record.

The Bulldogs earned 17 points from sophomore Javen Gumber and hit free throws to hold off the Indians, 76-73. They improved to 2-1 this season after an 88-46 win against Montezuma-Cortez on Friday night.

MCHS took a 22-8 lead early with strong defensive pressure, but Montrose adjusted and Moffat got into foul trouble as the Indians got back into the game from the free-throw line.

“It was a great start, but they made some adjustments and ran their offense to match our pressure,” head coach Eric Hamilton said. “I think we got out of our rhythm for a few minutes there with all the foul trouble.”

The scoreboard had Moffat County with a one-point lead at halftime, but a scorebook adjustment during the intermission took three points off the board for Montrose, making it 48-44.

The Indians continued their comeback in the second half and sent the game into the fourth quarter tied at 58.

Gumber had been on the bench for much of the second and third quarters with fouls, but came back out for the fourth with four fouls and was a difference-maker. He scored eight of his 17 points in the frame, giving Moffat a 68-60 lead.

With an eight-point lead later in the period, MCHS struggled against Montrose’s press, turning it over twice in a row as the Indians hit consecutive 3s to make it 73-71.

“They were getting good pressure on us,” Dylan Kincade said. “I think we just need to relax against it. We were pretty tense.”

Kincade was in the game late because of Moffat’s foul trouble and came up big for the Bulldogs. With 18.8 seconds left, he stepped to the line and sunk two foul shots to give the Bulldogs a 75-71 score and put Montrose in hurry mode.

“I was trying to zone everything out and just shoot them,” Kincade said about the free throws. “I was nervous stepping up there. I was shaking a little bit, but it felt good when they went in.”

It gave Moffat a third-place finish at the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out and valuable experience going forward.

“I think we improved every game,” Hamilton said. “Yesterday was a bit of a blowout, but I think it gave us confidence. Today, we had to grind one out against a good 4A team. Those pressure situations, you can’t teach those in practice.”

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

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