Moffat County basketball splits with Steamboat
Sailor boys top Bulldogs, MCHS girls trounce 0-6 rivals
Craig — For one Bulldog team, Friday night saw them face a foe they hadn’t met at the varsity level in four years, while the other was looking to avenge a loss from just one week before, but both rivalry matches between Moffat County High School and Steamboat Springs were packed with energy.
MCHS girls won a showdown with the Sailors, 48-26, while the Steamboat boys took a 64-48 victory against Moffat County during games in Craig.
Following dual wins by the MCHS junior varsity teams — 47-13 for girls, 46-35 boys — the Lady Bulldogs were in front the entire varsity game, holding onto a 12-6 lead after the opening quarter and a 23-13 advantage at halftime.
A 15-7 third period all but solidified the Lady Dogs’ eventual win, with the entire Bulldog bench playing, nearly all picking up points.
Raya Duryea had the most points on either side with 16 for Steamboat, while Jana Camilletti put up nine total for the Dogs, six free throws and one three-pointer.
Sailors girls coach George Ibarra said a height advantage helped Moffat County girls, though his players also still have some work to do with elements of the game.
“We really just need to focus on our shooting and rebounding,” he said.
A rematch between MCHS boys and the Sailors followed, with the first half a much closer affair than anything during the girls game. Leading, 20-18, after the first quarter, the Steamboat guys started sweating more as Bulldog boys started to show their teeth.
The lead changed five teams in the second quarter, marked by a tie at 29-all as Eddie Smercina turned a steal into a quick layup for the Dogs.
A block by Kasen Brennise had the home crowd thrilled, only for Steamboat’s Tyler Doyne to do the same on the other end of the court.
A swift four points by Mac Rinker put the Sailors back in the lead, for good as it turned out, though MCHS went into the locker room hopeful, trailing only 38-31.
However, a 19-11 third quarter kept the blue team behind and Smercina and Keenan Hildebrandt fouling out in the fourth didn’t help the Dogs.
Ethan Rininker put together 19 points in the game on the Steamboat side, 10 for 10 in foul shots. For MCHS, Kasen Brennise and Hildebrandt led with 12 each on the board.
Moffat County boys coach Eric Hamilton said the Dogs showed great improvement compared to the 58-38 loss to the Sailors during the Steamboat Shootout.
“Hate losing, but they played as hard as they could, all-around intensity level on defense, more aggressive offense, and our tempo was better,” he said.
Steamboat boys improve to 4-2 with the win, while Sailor girls are 0-6, both done for 2016, picking up again with tournaments in January before conference play.
Moffat County athletes may be on winter break but will have another week to go before they get much time off, with the Hoop-a-Thon fundraiser taking place at 6 p.m. Monday night complete with a chili cook-off as players shoot baskets for pledge money.
MCHS boys move to 1-6 on the season, while Lady Dogs are 6-1, the two teams both ready to finish out December with a pre-holiday 3A Western Slope League game against Coal Ridge Dec. 23 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Kinlie Brennise said she can’t wait to play on the same floor as the Denver Nuggets as the big time part of the season commences, a fervor she knows her teammates share as they look to repeat a WSL championship.
“You can’t replace passion with desire, and I think from coaches to varsity to JV to C-Team to the fans, us players, we just have passion for the game, and that’s what’s been bringing us out on top,” she said. “We just have to keep playing as a team.”
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Recreational marijuana taxes will stay at the same rate for now in Craig, and the museum and library will have to look elsewhere for funding in the near future.