Moffat County boys basketball eying state possibilities | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County boys basketball eying state possibilities

Above the rim, outside the arc, in the paint — wherever they need to be, the members of the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team will get there because this is the season they've been anticipating.

Five of the six Bulldog seniors have spent years together, and the expectations are high among all players new and old. The end of the 2013-14 season saw Moffat County make it to the upper echelons of the 3A state playoffs, and this year is all about pushing past old limits.

"Sophomore year it was the Sweet 16, junior year it was the Elite Eight, and we can only go up now," senior Tyler Davis said. "This is our time."

In his fourth year heading the team, coach Eric Hamilton said the boys are at their best as a group, a defensive force to be reckoned with when all falls into place.

"They're quick, they're strong, they're a very physical group," he said.

On the other side of the ball, the team benefits from on-court generosity, proving they're the Bulldogs, not the Ball-Hogs.

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"We've got a lot of guys that can score a ball, but they're all really unselfish players," Eric said. "Our seniors have been great leaders for our younger kids."

Hamilton has seen his son, Matt, as well as Davis, Joe Camilletti, Denton Taylor and Phillip Chadwick improve year by year on the court, and now in their final year of school — and with the addition of senior Jordan Najera, in his first and only year at MCHS — he's glad to see everything coming together.

An opening weekend tournament on the Front Range resulted in a pair of losses, including a harrowing triple overtime defeat by The Pinnacle, but the Steamboat Shoot-Out showed how the squad could bounce back, winning two of three matches.

The completion of Christmas break will mean Moffat County players will hit the gym again, and hard, preparing for regular season games, with Grand Valley expected to be the toughest competition along the Western Slope this year.

The first league game will take place Jan. 9 in Gunnison, and it won't be until Jan. 16 that they'll be able to play in front of a home crowd. Still, even when they don't have their fan presence at road games, the guys support each other with a bond that shines through on the court.

"We have great team chemistry," Chadwick said. "Back when we were little guys, we'd be playing three-on-three tournaments together, so we know how we all work. We know what each other's tendencies are on the court, what to look for, who's flashing."

Davis described the team as "best friends," only to correct himself.

"We're all brothers," he said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

Moffat County High School boys varsity and junior varsity basketball schedule

JV/Varsity Game Time, Date — Opponent/Event, Home Away

4 p.m./7 p.m., Jan. 9 — Gunnison, Away

1 p.m./4 p.m., Jan. 10 — Olathe, Away

4:30 p.m./7:30 p.m., Jan. 13 — Coal Ridge, Away

4:30 p.m./7:30 p.m., Jan. 16 — Basalt, Home

4 p.m./7 p.m., Jan. 23 — Roaring Fork, Away

12:30 p.m./3:30 p.m., Jan. 24 — Grand Valley, Home

4:30 p.m./7:30 p.m., Jan. 30 — Aspen, Away

12:30 p.m./3:30 p.m., Jan. 31 — Gunnison, Home

4:30 p.m./7:30 p.m., Feb. 6 — Olathe, Home

1 p.m./4 p.m., Feb. 7 — Basalt, Away

4:30 p.m./7:30 p.m., Feb. 13 — Coal Ridge, Home

12:30 p.m./3:30 p.m., Feb. 14 — Roaring Fork, Home

4 p.m./7 p.m., Feb. 20 — Grand Valley, Away

12:30 p.m./3:30 p.m., Feb. 21 — Aspen, Home

TBD, Feb. 27, 28 — District Tournament, Away

TBD, March 6, 7 — Regional Tournament, Away

TBD, March 13, 14 — State, Away

— All events are subject to change.

Moffat County High School boys C-team basketball schedule

Time, Date — Opponent/Event, Home Away

5:30 p.m., Jan. 6 — Soroco, Away

TBD, Jan. 10 — MCHS Tournament, Home

TBD, Jan. 17 — Eagle Valley Tournament, Away

5:30 p.m., Jan. 21 — Grand Junction Central, Home

5:30 p.m., Feb. 3 — Steamboat Springs, Away

1:30 p.m., Feb. 7 — Vernal, Utah, Away

6 p.m., Feb. 18 — Soroco, Away

— All events are subject to change.