Bulldogs shut down Cowboys | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs shut down Cowboys

CMS defense stingy in 14-point win

John Vandelinder

Three minutes and 12 seconds into the first quarter of Saturday’s middle school basketball game, Meeker forward Nate Walsh laid the ball into the hoop at Craig Middle School.

The two points pulled the visiting Cowboys within four at 6-2, but the Bulldogs defense held the visitors scoreless for the remainder of the half and most of the third quarter, pulling away for a 26-12 victory.

Meeker scored its third and fourth points of the game on a basket by Walsh with 32.1 seconds left in the third quarter, ending the 14 minute, 16 second scoring drought.

CMS used its shut-down defense in that time to turn the four-point lead into an 18-point advantage.

“I teach the kids to stay home on defense and not to challenge the outside shot until they start making it,” CMS coach David Grabowski said. “By staying home, we’re taking away all their inside game and their higher percentage shots.”

Meeker went 0-6 from behind the three-point line and missed all four of its free throws.

Recommended Stories For You

“It was tough out there for us today,” Meeker coach Neil Joy said. “They played us tough down low, and we just couldn’t hit any shots there for a while.”

CMS was missing leading scorer Paul Laliberte, who was sick, but found offense from post player Tyler Hildebrandt and small forward Wyatt Oberwitte.

Hildebrandt bullied his way to six first-half points – tripling Meeker’s first half output – on his way to a game-high nine points.

Oberwitte took over in the second half, scoring six of his eight total points in the game’s final 12 minutes.

“The offense flows about the same” without Laliberte here, Oberwitte said. “More people get a chance to score, though. Most of my shots felt good today, so I just put it up when I had the chance.”

The victory moves the Bulldogs to 3-0 on the season and gave third-year coach Grabowski his 25th win in 27 games.

“Our goal is to not have any losses,” Grabowski said. “We’ve only lost two games in the time I’ve been coach, and we don’t plan on losing any this year at all.”

CMS puts its perfect record on the line at 4:30 p.m. Friday, when rival Sailors visit the Bulldogs.


Grabowski said Laliberte, who is averaging 19 points per game, would be back in uniform for Friday’s contest. Although CMS’ eighth-grade team lost two games last season, the seventh-grade team – this year’s eighth-graders – ran the table on their way to a 12-0 season.

Game statistics


Team 1 2 3 4 Total

CMS (3-0) 9 8 3 6 26

Meeker (0-2) 2 0 4 6 12


(shots made, free throws made/free throws attempted, total points)


Ahlmer 0 1-4 1, Chavez 2 0-0 4, Bocco 0 0-0 0, Stewart 2 0-0 4, Hildenbrandt 4 1-4 9, Buckley 0 0-0 0, Lopez 0 0-0 0, Oberwitte 3 2-2 8, Goucer 0 0-0 0, Lopez 0 0-0 0.

Totals 11 4-14 26.


A. Smith 0 0-0 0, Fitzgibbons 1 0-0 2, Bullard 0 0-0 0, Rholl 1 0-0 2, Rowlett 1 0-4 2, Scherbart 0 0-0 0, Cochran 0 0-0 0, Walsh 3 0-0 6, Collins 0 0-0 0, S. Smith 0 0-0 0, Hughes 0 0-0 0.

Totals 6 0-4 12.

Three-point baskets:

CMS: none. Meeker: none.