Freshman Javen Gumber drives to the hole during the Moffat County Bulldogs' last home game in December against Olathe High School. Gumber was one of several younger players to step up Saturday during a series of round robin-style scrimmage games against Hayden and Rifle in Rifle.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Freshman Javen Gumber drives to the hole during the Moffat County Bulldogs' last home game in December against Olathe High School. Gumber was one of several younger players to step up Saturday during a series of round robin-style scrimmage games against Hayden and Rifle in Rifle.

MCHS boys readying for Aspen High School showdown

Bulldogs travel Saturday to Rifle for round robin scrimmage

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“I think defense is key for us. We’ll work on our running game, try to speed these guys up and see if they can run with us, but we need to improve our defense before we can run.”

Moffat County High School boys basketball Coach Eric Hamilton about what the Bulldogs will focus on this week before Saturday’s match up against the Aspen High School Skiers.

The Moffat County High School boys basketball team on Saturday will step back out on the hardwood for a showdown with the 5-1 Aspen High School Skiers.

With the statewide winter break still in full swing it will be nearly a month since the Bulldogs’ last game in Gunnison.

Just like the girls, who hosted a scrimmage against Meeker High School on Friday, Coach Eric Hamilton was looking for a way to get his boys game ready going into the last week of the winter break.

On Saturday the Bulldogs traveled to Rifle for a round robin-style scrimmage against U.S. Highway 40 rival Hayden High School (2A) and the 4A Rifle High School Bears.

“It was great,” Hamilton said. “Those are both good teams and they were very intense scrimmages, just like games.”

Though all three teams matched up well the Bulldogs were a little shorthanded for the 40 minutes on, 20 minutes off, 40 minutes on format.

Three of Hamilton’s boys missed the trip to Rifle with the flu.

“We got a good, solid 80 minutes of basketball in,” Hamilton said. “We were a little shorthanded for that much basketball that fast, but the guys really played hard.

“Guys like Denton Taylor and Javen Gumber really stepped up to fill in for some of the upperclassmen (who were sick) and played well for us.”

That weekend experience could play a huge role in Saturday’s game against Aspen, Hamilton said. The Skiers ride into Moffat County on a 5-1 record with their only loss coming to one of the state’s perennial powerhouses.

“That’s a huge game for us,” Hamilton said. “Last year they kicked our butts. They graduated a lot of seniors last year, but that’s a really good program and the only team they’ve lost to is like five-time state champion Faith Christian (High School), so we know they’re playing excellent.”

The Bulldogs are a team built to run, but Hamilton said the focus this week is going to be on defense and rebounding.

“I think defense is key for us,” he said. “We’ll work on our running game, try to speed these guys up and see if they can run with us, but we need to improve our defense before we can run.”

The Bulldogs take the floor against the Skiers at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at MCHS.

The game also will be broadcast live online at www.craigdailypress.com.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com

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