MCHS boys basketball team falls, 51-31, to league-leading Palisade |

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MCHS boys basketball team falls, 51-31, to league-leading Palisade

Taft Cleverly, a Moffat County High School sophomore, dribbles around a Palisade defender Saturday at MCHS. Cleverly said the MCHS boys varsity basketball team struggled against Palisade’s man-to-man defense in a 51-31 loss.

Results …

Box score from the MCHS boys varsity basketball team’s game Saturday against Palisade High School:

(1st — 2nd — 3rd — 4th — final)

• Moffat County — 5 — 9 — 4 — 13 — 31

• Palisade — 18 — 13 — 7 — 13 — 51

MCHS leading scorers:

(Name — points)

• Taft Cleverly — 8

• Colby Haddan — 7

• Tyler Hildebrandt — 6

• Tyler Davis — 4

The Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team moved the ball around the perimeter with ease Saturday against Palisade at MCHS.

The Bulldogs met more resistance when trying to pound the ball inside.

Palisade's man-to-man defense suffocated the Bulldogs' offensive attack early in the first quarter and Moffat County had no answer for Palisade's jump shots in a 51-31 loss.

"Palisade is a really athletic and strong team, and we saw why they are first in the league," MCHS sophomore Taft Cleverly said. "Their defense had a heck of a day and we couldn't do much."

The Bulldogs (3-11 overall, 1-4 Western Slope League) didn't score their first bucket until 2 minutes and 30 seconds were left in the first quarter on a jump shot from senior Colby Haddan.

Palisade (12-2 overall, 5-0 WSL) scored early and often by driving to the lane and dropping mid-range jump shots to get out to an 18-5 lead after the first quarter.

The lead grew to 25-9 after a Palisade 3-pointer early in the second quarter and the Bulldogs continued to turn the ball over whenever they tried to move the ball inside.

Cleverly said the team wasn't used to seeing an aggressive man-to-man defense and struggled.

"We needed to make adjustments to their defense so we could score because it isn't something we have seen much," he said. "But, it is good for us to see it and know what we need to do when we see it again."

The Bulldogs made adjustments after the first, scoring nine points in the second quarter and 13 in the fourth.

Cleverly said the Bulldogs couldn't wait for Palisade to get its defense set up.

"We knew they wanted to play tight on us, so we sent guys running," he said. "We were able to get some points off of fast breaks because we didn't let them get set into their defense."

Cleverly led the way for the Bulldogs with eight points, Haddan had seven and junior Tyler Hildebrandt added six.

Palisade slowed the tempo of the game in the third quarter, barely outscoring MCHS, 7-4, in the period.

Other than the third quarter, Palisade scored double-digit points in the other three quarters.

The depth of Palisade's team, Cleverly said, was too much for the Bulldogs to handle.

"They have some really good shooters and they did what they wanted against our 2-3 zone," he said. "When we switched to man defense, we did a lot better, but they were hard to stop."

Moffat County dropped to 0-4 at home this season following Saturday's loss.

The Bulldogs will look to win their first home game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against Steamboat.

Cleverly, who is in his first year as a varsity starter, said he is excited to play in the Yampa Valley rivalry game.

"We are going to have to play hard defense and work on offense more," he said. "We need to get prepared and get ready so we can get a big win over Steamboat."

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