Craig With relentless attacking play on offense, the Moffat County boys basketball team booked a trip to the Great 8 of the state tournament.
Moffat hosted Bishop Machebeuf on Saturday, and after a tight first dozen minutes, the Bulldogs took over and never looked back on the way to an 84-72 win.
They used an 8-2 run to take a 29-23 lead midway through the second quarter and went into halftime up seven points. The lead only grew in the third quarter as Matt Hamilton gave the Bulldogs a 12-point lead after scoring a layup and hitting the free throw to follow.
Machebeuf switched to a 1-3-1 trap after that, but Moffat County didn’t flinch, as Taft Cleverly made a pass out of a double team and ball movement found Kort Hathhorn for a 3-pointer.
“It was total desire today to just get it done,” coach Eric Hamilton said. “There was a lot of hustle from everybody, a lot of desire. They just weren’t going to lose today.”
Every players who came into the game while it was still in doubt gave the Bulldogs big minutes. Dylan Kincade, who has been struggling lately, scored 17 points off the bench and was one of four Bulldogs with more than 10 points.
“We played really good as a team,” Kincade said. “Everyone was sharing the ball, everyone was attacking. We were forcing them to foul.”
Bishop Machebeuf’s leading scorer, Matt Timlin, finished with 23 points, but after scoring 14 in the first half, the senior was shut down while Moffat County ran away with the game. He hit three 3-pointers in garbage time, when teammate Andre Hilson (26 points) also scored most of his points at the foul line.
Moffat County turned the game into a blowout in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 21 points and holding a 78-58 advantage with two minutes to play when coach Hamilton went to his bench. The move may have been a bit early as the Buffaloes kept their press on and closed the gap to 10 points but with too little time on the clock to make a real run at the comeback.
The Bulldogs will play Colorado Academy in the state tournament round of eight on Thursday. Getting to the Great 8 in 3A and surpassing last year’s result was a major goal for the team entering the season. Now, the Bulldogs will seek out a state championship in the coming days.
“It feels really good to get there,” Kincade said.
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.