Friday's other game in Brush...
• Coach: Ken Garcia
• 9-1 (second) in 3A/2A Patriot League
• Won Patriot League district tournament
Basalt (8-14) from Basalt
• Coach: Rolf Schildman
• 6-10 (fourth) in Class 3A Western Slope League
• Fourth in WSL district tournament
The Moffat County boys basketball team left Thursday for Brush High School and a chance to make the final eight in the state tournament with two wins this weekend in the regionals.
The first team standing in the Bulldogs’ way is The Classical Academy, a charter school from Colorado Springs that went 14-8 on the season.
Regional playoffs often match teams unfamiliar with one another. But both Moffat County and Classical have had a chance to size each other up going into Friday’s 5 p.m. game.
Classical Academy tied for second in the Tri-Peaks League behind only 20-2 Colorado Springs Christian, the No. 2 team in the Class 3A tournament. Classical won’t be hard to pick out from a crowd; it starts three players who stand 6-6 or taller. That’s what caught the eye of head coach Eric Hamilton.
“They’re very big guys, very tall. They don’t score a lot of points and have one really good shooter,” Hamilton said. “We’re going to have to use our speed and quickness, which suits us fine. It looks like a team we can attack with our pressure.”
Similarly, Classical coach Paul Campbell knows what Moffat wants to do.
“I know they are heavy transition, like to get up and down the floor,” Campbell said. “We’ve seen a few teams play like that and we’ve kind of split with those teams. The big thing with high school basketball is trying to teach kids to play composed basketball inside the moment of a regional tournament.”
If composure is a factor, it’s hard to point to a team with an advantage. Both have just two seniors on their rosters, although Classical made the regional last year, losing in the first round to Holy Family.
In a game of contrasting styles, one of the most interesting matchups will be on the perimeter. Jason Anderson is a 6-7, 215-pound wing player for the Titans who averages 11.7 points a game. Whoever has the assignment of guarding him for Moffat County will have his hands full.
The winner of Friday’s game will play the winner of Brush vs. Basalt, who square off at 7 p.m. Friday. Both coaches were pleased that they will get to scout their potential Saturday opponents in person.
“We get to watch Brush play Basalt right afterward,” Hamilton said. “First thing is take care of Classical Academy. Then it’s a great opportunity to watch them (Brush) play a team we know (Basalt). That really gives you a better look.”
Both coaches are excited about getting tournament play going, and both teams are upbeat about their chances to advance. Campbell thinks it’s an open bracket.
“This year it’s unique — everybody has a loss or more,” he said. “Everybody can be beat on a given day.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.