Bulldogs join traveling tournament | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs join traveling tournament

A month’s worth of basketball practice and no games has the Colorado Lady Bulldogs of Craig eager to play somebody other than their teammates.

“It’s kind of getting boring,” point guard Nike Cleverly said. “We can’t wait to see somebody else.”

This weekend, the team of seventh-graders-to-be will have a chance to play someone else.

Craig is the host town for a Mid-America Youth Basketball tournament Saturday and Sunday.

“The girls are amped about playing again,” coach Justin Gallegos said. “They’ve talked about how pumped and ready they are to play.”

The Bulldogs are one of six teams in the tournament. Their division is the only one that had enough teams to fill a bracket. Originally, the tournament was open to all divisions from fifth grade to high school.

“I would have liked to have more teams,” tournament coordinator and Moffat County High School girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen said. “It would have been nice to have my varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams play.”

Mortensen was hired by MAYB to run a tournament last summer, and the competition is back this year. He said that although he can go out and promote the tournament, most of the promotion is done by MAYB.

The Craig tournament is the only MAYB in Colorado this weekend, but it is one of 23 tournaments across the country.

MAYB is a 13-year-old Newton, Kan.-based organization that puts together tournaments across the country by hiring local coordinators to help run a weekend competition.

“The teams sign up through them and then MAYB sends all the information to me,” Mortensen said. “My job is to find the facilities and organize the brackets.”

One of the competitors coming to Craig is the Falcon Flames. The Bulldogs faced the Flames the first weekend in June at a MAYB tournament in Greeley and lost.

“(The Flames) are coming up here because they think we’ll be easy,” Cleverly said. “We’ve improved so much this summer. When we started out, we were horrible.”

The Bulldogs are using the Flames as motivation.

“Coach expects us to pull through against the tough teams,” Cleverly said. “(The Flames) are really tough.”

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