Craig Middle School hoops outshoots Meeker Cowboys in Saturday series
It was a shorter day than expected in the Craig Middle School gym, but Bulldog basketball cleaned up quickly with a sweep of the Meeker Cowboys of Barone Middle School.
CMS won all three games against the visiting team in what was originally intended to be a full tournament only for half the teams to pull out late in the week.
Even so, the Bulldog seventh-grade B-Team made the most of their playing time and edged past the Cowboys 26-16, while the A-Team upped the ante at 54-25.
Coach Mark Carlson’s squad held a healthy halftime lead at 33-17 and didn’t bother to slow down from there.
“They shared the ball really well, 17 assists, so that was really nice,” Carlson said. “They drove really well, got a lot of turnovers, and ball movement was just great.”
The day ended with a 40-16 wallop by the eighth-grade A-Team.
Evan Atkin said he and his teammates worked to mix up the energy so Meeker never got too comfortable.
“We switch really well between our plays,” he said.
On a personal level, Atkin said he’s improved throughout the weeks in his shooting style.
“I’ve gotten a lot better on my open layups. I missed a lot of those last year,” he said. “Our passing has gotten a lot better, too.”
Coach Steve Maneotis noted the group’s ability to overwhelm the Cowboy offense.
“They played well. I thought we did a great job with our man-to-man defense, it really took them out of their flow,” he said.
He added the A-Team defeated the Cowboys 24-14 during a tournament in Steamboat Springs a week earlier.
“They have some good guards who are quick, and we saw them at Steamboat, but the biggest thing is that we ran the floor and looked for fastbreak opportunities, very seldom got into a half-court set,” he said.
The same event in Steamboat saw the Bulldogs fall to the Sailors for the second time as the hosts hit a last-second shot to win 23-21 despite the Dogs fighting their way back from a bad start in a 10-0 first quarter.
“They’ve made great strides,” Maneotis said.
A B-Team tourney hosted Friday by Soroco saw seventh-graders go 2-0 and eighth-graders 1-1, while 5-1 seventh-grade A saw its first defeat at Steamboat, one which players will be looking to avenge. Likewise, CMS eighth-grade A-Team is 4-2, still setting their sights on a couple goals: a 60-point game and defeating the Sailors at districts, hosted by Rangely in December.