Taft Cleverly runs the break during Moffat County's basketball game vs. Cedaredge Saturday in Craig. Moffat County won the game 71-41 and is now 9-1 this season.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Taft Cleverly runs the break during Moffat County's basketball game vs. Cedaredge Saturday in Craig. Moffat County won the game 71-41 and is now 9-1 this season.

Bulldogs shut down Bruins

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By the Numbers...

Boys JV team won 72-70

Varsity scoring

Taft Cleverly 15 points

Tyler Davis 15

Matt Hamilton 9

Tyler Hildebrandt 9

Miguel Cruz 6

Javen Gumber 5

Phillip Chadwick 4

Korth Hatthorn 2

Kody Fief 2

Colten Yoast 2

Visiting Cedaredge couldn’t stand up to the pressure against the Moffat County boys basketball defense Saturday.

Moffat County worked through a rough shooting first half and got its scoring done in transition for much of the game, winning 71-41 in Craig.

Guards Taft Cleverly and Tyler Davis led the way for the Bulldogs, each scoring 15 points.

The Bulldogs also had to deal with foul trouble early in the game. Cleverly and Joe Camilletti combined for five fouls in the first quarter, meaning Moffat County had to use lineups it hasn’t played all season.

But those groups still got the job done. After taking a 15-8 lead through one quarter, MCHS got a transition layup followed by consecutive 3s from Miguel Cruz, and was on its way to another big win.

Coach Eric Hamilton said the Bulldogs’ defense especially was key for a win Saturday, when the team’s shooting was not at its best.

“Once again our defense kind of overtook the game,” Hamilton said. “I think that might have been our best defensive effort of the year so far. We’re getting hustle out of all five guys all the time.”

Moffat County took a 33-15 lead into halftime and extended the lead throughout the second half to improve to 9-1 (6-1 Western Slope League) this season. Cedaredge fell to 6-4 (4-3).

While this game looked similar to many of the Bulldogs’ other wins this season, Hamilton thinks he is starting to see the improvements he wants.

“The kids were really running well,” he said. “We’re starting to pick up our running game, getting steals and converting off turnovers. You can have an off-shooting night and still score with a lot of good defense.”

The win kept the Bulldogs in the hunt for a 3A Western Slope League title this season, but now they will have to keep winning on the road. The next three games are on the road, starting Friday at Coal Ridge High School.

But Hamilton is confident in his players, who are playing with an even higher confidence level.

“The kids are feeling it,” he said. “I like the teamwork, it’s really coming along. They’re really starting to figure out this team is really something. They’re playing for a lot more than just every home game. They’re playing for the postseason.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.

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