MCHS basketball teams look to impact league race in Delta |

MCHS basketball teams look to impact league race in Delta

Joshua Gordon

The Moffat County High School boys and girls basketball teams travel Friday to Delta High School for a second go around with the Panthers. The girls will be looking to pull even with Delta and stay in the title hunt while the boys will look to knock the Panthers out of contention.

The Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team scored 12 points in the second half on Jan. 20 against Delta while falling, 54-39, at home.

The loss dropped the Bulldogs two games behind Delta in the Western Slope League race and forced Moffat County to rely on another league team to trip the Panthers up.

On Saturday, Glenwood Springs went into Delta and left with a 56-48 win to hand the Panthers their first WSL loss.

Now, the Bulldogs have a chance Friday to go to Delta and pull even with the Panthers if they can score a road victory.

"We want the team to play well and play to the capability we know they can," head coach Matt Ray said Wednesday. "We need to do the right things in a big game so we can give ourselves a chance to earn a part of the league title. We have to go in and play with confidence."

The Bulldogs (13-6 overall, 6-2 WSL) have won four straight since losing to Delta.

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Ray said what happen in the second half of the first game is something the team has worked on and he doesn't foresee it happening again.

"It comes down to playing a complete game and knowing every quarter you are playing your best," he said. "There are going to be errors here and there by both teams and both teams will put together a run, but we need to play even keel in every quarter. If (Delta) gets a run, we can't panic and need to keep up our confidence."

Junior Skylyn Webb led Delta (16-3 overall, 8-1 WSL) in the last game against the Bulldogs, going off for 26 points.

Ray said Webb likes to penetrate inside first, and his girls need to take that away.

"We need to make (Webb's) first option to shoot outside instead of driving inside," he said. "With us, it is always an in-your-face type of defense, but with (Webb) we will have to do the opposite to keep her outside."

Ultimately, Ray said the key to the game could come down to playing sound defense.

"We have to have a team-defense philosophy and take away (Webb) and their post players without letting someone else go off on us," he said. "If we can do that and be patient on offense, I think we can control the tempo of the game."

MCHS boys basketball sets sights on road upset

The MCHS boys varsity basketball team's victory Tuesday over Basalt marked the first time this season the Bulldogs have won back-to-back games.

Head coach Eric Hamilton said the team plans to take the momentum and use it to help them put together an upset bid on the road Friday against Delta.

"The momentum is huge for us and I think the last two wins have really gave us some confidence," he said. "We have to go down there with the attitude of playing great basketball."

The Bulldogs (5-13 overall, 2-6 WSL) struggled to contain Delta's offense in the two teams' first match-up, a 73-58 victory for the Panthers.

Hamilton said good teams make runs, but his players need to keep their heads up when it happens.

"Really good teams like Delta, runs will happen, but we can't let it get out of control," he said. "We will have to get a defensive stop, and then make use of a couple of good offensive possessions and make a run of our own."

Delta is 14-5 overall, 7-2 in the league and making a push for a league title.

Going up against an explosive offense, Hamilton said the key would be rebounding.

"We have had a lack of rebounding lately and (Delta) has some athletic big guys, so we have to lock down and limit their offensive rebounds," he said. "We need to be patient and not get into a running game with them.

"It boils down to if our defense can slow them down. We have to control the dribble penetration and work the ball on offense."

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If you go …

If you go …

What: Moffat County High School boys and girls varsity basketball teams v. Delta High School

When: Girls — 6 p.m. Friday

When: Boys — 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Delta High School, 1400 Pioneer Rd.

— Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students

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