Craig Middle School girls hoops teams topple Baggs | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Middle School girls hoops teams topple Baggs

7th-graders claim 1st win, 36-13; 8th-graders, 37-15

There was plenty of bark and bite alike Thursday night for the Craig Middle School girls basketball teams as the Bulldogs hosted the Little Snake River Valley School Rattlers of Baggs, Wyoming. Both the seventh- and eighth-grade teams claimed wins after defeats earlier in the week.

The seventh-graders took their first victory of the season with a 36-13 game that went their way in nearly every aspect as they faced off against Baggs' B-Team of combined ages. Coaches Jason Buhrman and Lauryn Calafiore said they saw the best shooting, rebounding, passing and other elements on Thursday than they've seen from the squad.

The game was a step up from a Tuesday visit from Meeker, whom the Bulldogs stayed on par with at first, down, 14-8, going into the final quarter only to have everything unravel as Meeker doubled their score to win, 28-8.

"We're finally starting to buy in and run things right, and they really got after it defensively," Buhrman said.

Rylie Anderson brought in 12 points for the team and stirred up trouble on both ends of the court with the disruptive defense that's been characteristic of the group, rarely letting the Rattlers hang on to the ball.

"Teamwork was why we won, in our other games, we haven't had that as much," Anderson said.

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Stephanie Swindler said the triumph was "a blessing" earned from the hard work put in over the past few weeks.

"I think we really stepped up our game a lot from when we played Baggs the first time," she said.

The Bulldog mojo continued through the eighth-graders' match with Baggs' A-Team, parlaying an 8-0 first quarter into a decisive 37-15 win. Part of the squad's fervor may have been from taking a hit Tuesday with their own loss to Meeker, 32-28, the team that will host the end-of-season district tournament.

"We have a lot of nerves when it comes to Meeker, and the girls get pretty worked up before those games, so hopefully we can get that under control," said coach Candi Hellander.

Either way, the team was ready to come back strong, she said.

"We always know Baggs comes to play, and we never know what's going to happen because they're a tough team," she said. "Everybody got playing time, which is good for me to get everybody in there. That's my goal."

Leading scorer Bailey Lawton put in 16 points, crediting the flow of the game to good communication on the court.

"We were really pushing the ball around and looking at what was open," she said.

CMS teams will travel to Steamboat Springs Saturday for what they hope will be another set of wins as they hone their skills against the Sailors' style.

"Everything makes you better in different ways," Lawton said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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