Bulldogs add to Steamboat’s woes
All week, Moffat County coach Scott Parker talked to his players about taking a lead of six points and expanding it.
Steamboat Springs coach Kelly Meek talked to his guys about mental preparation.
After the Bulldogs pulled away from a close game in the fourth quarter for a 56-43 win, it’s not hard to guess which coach was happier.
“I want to thank you guys,” Parker said to his players in the locker room after the game. “I haven’t had this feeling in 20 years.”
The Moffat alumnus was proud of his fellas Friday night.
His team led the entire game and fended off several Steamboat runs. In the final 2 minutes, 30 seconds, the Bulldogs did what Parker had preached all week.
“We talked about how to make a six-point lead a 10-point lead,” he said. “You have to make two defensive stops and take good shots.”
Moffat started the fourth quarter with nine consecutive points, seven of them by senior Derek Duran, to open up a 44-32 lead. Then Steamboat’s Aaron Calkins hit two consecutive 3-pointers to pull the Sailors back to within six points.
That’s when the Bulldogs turned a six-point lead into a nine-point one. A defensive stop and then a bucket and a free throw from sophomore J.T. Haddan did the deed.
The Sailors never recovered after Haddan’s three-point play, and Moffat scored 11 of the final 14 points to pull away.
“We just didn’t come out tonight and have it,” Steamboat senior Scott Peterson said. “I thought we figured it out this week, but we still have a lot … to work on.”
The Sailors struggled from outside in the first half. They were 1-of-8 from beyond the three-point line in the half. The Bulldogs primarily played a zone defense in the first half.
“We didn’t make our shots but that wasn’t the problem,” Peterson said. “They killed us on the boards and in transition.”
Meek mentioned four aspects that he thought kept his team from winning. Peterson mentioned two of them, the other two were: “They spread us out up top at the point guard position, and they beat us on the dribble.”
In the first game, which Steamboat won 68-55, Moffat was without leading rebounder Kevin Loughran. With the help of senior Jarrod Holmlund and Haddan, Loughran said he thought his team dominated on the boards.
“The zone helps us rebound better because it spreads us out,” said Loughran, who finished with nine points. “When we rebound, we get out and run better.”
For most of the night, the Sailors held Duran in check by face guarding him and whoever was on him didn’t help. Twice in the fourth quarter, Duran’s man turned to help and he hit his shots.
“We broke the rule twice (about guarding Duran),” Meek said. “Then that run started.”
Duran had 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. He almost outscored the Sailors, who had 11 in the final eight minutes.
“This feels good because we had lost four straight against them,” Loughran said. “It feels real good.”
Calkins was a bright spot for the Sailors in the second half. He scored all of his team-high 14 points in the half. Peterson finished with 11 points.
Evan Hertzog was the only other Bulldog to score in double figures with 11 points.
The rivals are heading in the opposite direction. The Sailors have lost five of their last six games while the Bulldogs have won four straight.
“We’re rolling going into the Battle Mountain game,” Parker said. “We’ll see what we can do against them.”
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