Craig Middle School hoops owns opponents at home tourney
A long day for Craig Middle School boys basketball may have been tiring, but that weariness Saturday came with a sense of pride.
CMS hoops’ Saturday home tournament saw a barrage of points for the blue and white as the Bulldog ballers picked up a total 10 wins among the 13 games seventh= and eighth-graders played.
Each of the A-teams emerged as the champions for the day, both sweeping all competitors with a 3-0 run.
The seventh-grade A group capped off its trio of victories with a 32-4 win against Rifle, the same squad that narrowly bested the CMS C-Team earlier in the day.
While C-Team had a 2-1 day and B-Team 1-1, the 3-0 tourney puts A-Team at 7-2 for the season.
“Their intensity, they’re playing like they demand to win instead of just trying to have fun,” said coach Ben Egger. “It’s a huge step up from the start of the year.”
The day played out much the same for the eighth-graders, with the A-Team avenging a CMS B-Team 23-17 defeat to Rifle’s A lineup, the top-tier Bulldogs finishing the day 35-16 over the Cubs.
The eighth-grade A pounded Hayden 41-8 and West Grand 32-6, but besides a greater pushback from Rifle, the last game of the day was more personal, said Thayne Kitchen.
“They beat us in AAU, so were really out for blood,” he said.
Kitchen put up 21 points in the final game, which left CMS A-Team at 8-0 for the year.
Coach Forrest Watson said an energetic second half helped ensure the most recent win.
“Once that crowd started cheering, that got them hyped up,” he said. “They did the press well, filled the lanes, just played aggressive.”
CMS will attend tourneys hosted by Soroco and Steamboat Springs in the coming weekend.
The multi-team format is one that not only allows players to see more opponents but also lessen travel, said CMS Vice Principal and Athletic Director Sara Linsacum.
Shorter clocks in each half of tournament play also allow the flow of the day to go quicker, which means more games.
“I love these,” Linsacum said. “We’re here all day, but then it’s like we’re done for the year.”
CMS will have at least one more set of home games with plans to host Riverside Middle School Nov. 17.
Sharing thanks, enjoying some laughs, and shedding a few tears are an indicator of the emotional levels that always seem to come with Moffat County High School graduation.