Defense, sweet shooting lead Moffat County boys basketball to win
December 21, 2013
For the second straight game, the Moffat County boys basketball team came out on fire and turned it into a win.
After hitting six 3s in the first quarter during Friday night's win at Olathe, the Bulldogs kept shooting well to start against Gunnison on Saturday. They hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and seven in the first half to open up a 49-18 win. They would go on to win, 68-42.
The team now is 4-1 this season, with a 2-0 start in the league.
Moffat County's pressure defense bothered the Cowboys from the opening tip and their hot shooting on the outside opened up a big lead from the start. No one on the team was better than sophomore Kort Hathhorn, who scored 20 of his 24 points in the first half.
"To me, it always starts with defense," Hathhorn said. "When we get steals and get going, it's unbeatable."
Hathhorn usually does most of his damage slashing and hitting acrobatic layups, but Saturday he was feeling it from all over the court. He hit a couple of those layups, nailed three shots from beyond the arc and got a transition dunk into the mix in the first quarter.
"I felt like I was in my own zone," he said. "Every shot I took, I felt like it was going in."
In a district tournament game last season, it was center Javen Gumber who had a big game against Gunnison, but he was the focal point of the Cowboys’ defense Saturday. So the shooting was important for Moffat County.
"I thought they defended Javen well, so it was good to see us hitting shots," said head coach Eric Hamilton.
In the second half, Moffat County was not as sharp, but the game was never in doubt, either. After pulling off the press on defense, the Bulldogs struggled to score but kept the advantage above 25 points the rest of the way.
"I think we had a half left in the tank or something," Hamilton said. "We lost our intensity and we wanted to have a better defensive performance in the second half."
Hathhorn echoed his coach, but thinks the Bulldogs will respond when future games are tight in the second half.
"We weren't as aggressive on defense," he said. "In a close game, we would be flying to the ball on defense, we'd have so much adrenaline and we would make the plays to win."