Moffat County basketball salutes seniors, preps for playoffs
Saturday wins against Aspen leave boys No. 1 in league, girls No. 2
As you might expect at a sporting event where basketball players aim to win titles, Saturday included a lot of hard work at the Moffat County High School gym — but tireless energy wasn’t the only feeling in the air
It was an emotional day as MCHS hosted Senior Night, sending off the oldest members of their varsity basketball teams during a set of games with Aspen, though the kids who got all choked up with their parents and friends before game time didn’t let their feelings keep them from driving up the score, the boys winning, 80-36, and the girls, 51-18.
Wins by both the junior varsity squads — 46-24 by the girls and a double overtime 67-65 squeaker by the boys — had fans already drooling, and the big dogs didn’t disappoint.
The Lady Dogs (14-5 overall, 12-2 3A Western Slope League) had an 11-2 advantage against the Skiers, 1-13 in the league, after the first quarter, but a pattern of steal–score-repeat set the tone in the second thanks to Kayla Pinnt and Katia Voloshin’s relentless defense. Moffat County going on an eight-point run before Aspen was able to score again, with the half ending 26-10.
The Skiers picked up plenty of chances for free throws as the game went on, but they sank only two of 15 total compared to six for 14 for the Bulldogs.
Josey King took 11 points, Pinnt nine, Morgan Lawton seven, Charli Earle six, Leah Camilletti five, Mattie Jo Duzik three and Voloshin and Alex Hamilton two apiece. Seniors Katelyn Peroulis and Shayna Allen had four and two points, respectively.
The two, as well as teammate Hannah Beckett and team manager Chandra Warren kicked off the varsity games with a ceremony that celebrated their time with the team.
“They’re all fighters, they’ve all had to overcome something to be able to play basketball,” said coach Sam McLeod of his seniors. “They don’t take it for granted.”
After the girls cleared the floor, the fourth year members of the boys team took over, as seniors Matt Hamilton, Joe Camilletti, Denton Taylor and Tyler Davis got their due from family, friends and each other.
For coach Eric Hamilton, seeing the gang — including his own son — grow up from freshmen the year he began in his position has been amazing, he said.
“It’s the best group I’ve ever had, a special bunch of guys,” he said.
Determined to give the crowd a show, the boys had a monster opening quarter, turning a small 6-4 lead into 22 points that almost went unanswered until Aspen’s Caelan Ross ended the streak with a free throw to complete the period, 28-5.
Coming out of the locker room ahead, 48-15, the boys worked the ball around as all those on the roster gained some playing time in the second half, with nearly every kid on the Bulldog bench scoring in the game.
Joe Camilletti led scoring with 16, Dylan Kincade had 13, Matt Hamilton 11, Dusty Taylor nine, Davis eight, Denton Taylor and Ben Robinson six each, Brent Cook three, and Keenan Hildebrandt, Eddie Smercina, Scott Foster and Bronc Hellander all took two in the game that put the group at 15-4 overall and 13-1 WSL.
Now it’s time for the second season, which begins with the first round of districts, Moffat County teams hosting games Tuesday night. The No. 1 boys will host WSL’s No. 8 Olathe, while the second seed girls will play the seventh in the conference, Basalt.
Following the home action, teams will travel to Grand Junction to meet the rest of the WSL.
“We’re going to take each game one step at a time and see how many steps we can take it,” said McLeod. “Every game we win is another opportunity for another game together.”
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