Middle school teams take district tournament | CraigDailyPress.com

Middle school teams take district tournament

David Pressgrove

The Craig Middle School basketball teams went to Rangley last weekend with a mission to become district champions. Mission accomplished.

The eighth-grade team completed an undefeated season with a 60-14 win against Meeker in the first round and a 46-32 victory in the championship game over Steamboat Springs.

“They really went out and did what we wanted accomplished,” coach Craig Conrad said. “I was impressed with the team’s effort in their final weekend.”

The Bulldogs only trailed once in the season during a 57-55 win against Rangely.

“We never played down to the level of our opponents,” Conrad said. “The guys always challenged themselves to play at a high level.”

During the tournament Josh Satterwhite, Eli Buckner and Colton Conrad averaged 15 points a game. In the title game Conrad held Steamboat’s leading scorer, who had 20 in the first game of the tournament, to six points.

“The inside out was working for us on offense,” coach Conrad said. “Teams really couldn’t stop us.”

Coach Conrad said he set three goals at the beginning of the season for his team.

“Obviously, we wanted to have fun,” coach Conrad said. “We also wanted to improve and come together as a team and finally, I wanted to prepare them for high school ball.”

High school head coach Mike LeWarne assisted the team throughout the year and Conrad believes that his presence helped get the future freshmen ready for the next level.

“It had been 14 years since I last coached,” Conrad said. “It was a privilege to work with them.”

The seventh grade team went into the tournament with revenge on their minds. Rangely had defeated them the previous week and a rematch in the championship game was possible.

After a 48-20 win against Steamboat, in which Zach Kelley led the team with nine points, the Bulldogs were set for the showdown as Rangley defeated Meeker.

“We didn’t make very many shots against (Rangely’s) zone the first time,” coach Tom Dockstader said. “So we worked a lot on our zone offense that week.”

The game didn’t start out well for the Bulldogs as they were down 11-4 with two minutes to go in the half. Then a 7-0 run tied the game up and gave the eighth graders confidence going into halftime.

Eight quick points in the third quarter put the Bulldogs up for good as they went on to capture the district crown, 31-19.

“The loss was a wake-up call,” Dockstader said. “Once we got Rangely’s big kid in the paint in foul trouble, I was pretty sure we had

it won.”

Top scorers for the champs were Mike Peters and Chayton Owens with eight apiece.

“We had 11 guys this year who we could put in and not lose anything,” Dockstader said. “It was a fun group to work with.”

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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