Moffat County boys basketball kicks off season with 53-43 win over Vail Christian |

Moffat County boys basketball kicks off season with 53-43 win over Vail Christian

Though they had to shake off some rust after a long layoff, the Moffat County Bulldogs’ boys basketball team did just enough to pick up a season-opening win Friday night, holding off a strong fourth-quarter charge from the visiting Vail Christian Saints to pick up a 53-43 win.

The win over the Saints marked the second straight year the Bulldogs opened the season with a win.

Getting off on the right foot is something that made the locker room a happy place after the game. It wasn’t satisfactory to Bulldogs’ Head Coach Steve Maneotis however.

“It’s always nice to get your first win, figure out what we need to work on. It wasn’t what I wanted,” Maneotis said. “I think we played pretty sloppy basketball, a lot of easy misses underneath. But it’s a win.”

The team got off to a strong start out of the gate, losing the tip but getting the ball back after an emphatic block by Counts. They followed that up a few plays later with a 3-pointer by senior Chris Maneotis to open their scoring. The senior followed up his game-opening 3-pointer by forcing a tie-up on the very next play.

That was it for early-game highlights on both sides of the court as the season-opener slowed to a near standstill with the Bulldogs leading after one quarter, 9-6.

At the half, Moffat County held a 22-17 lead, before then turning things on in the third quarter, outscoring the Saints 19-9 in the third frame to take a 41-26 lead into the final quarter.

Jordan Carlson had a big hand in the 19-point third quarter, pouring in seven points of his own.

Moffat County held on late, withstanding a late Saints run that saw Vail Christian outscore Moffat County 18-12 in the final frame, capping off the 53-43 win for the Bulldogs.

Defensively, the Bulldogs had a strong night, forcing the Saints into 18 turnovers, which was something that was part of the game plan, according to Counts.

“We’ve really been working hard on defense and I think we kind of really put that into play tonight, which really helps,” Counts said.

While the Bulldogs took the ball away frequently Friday night, they struggled to maintain possession themselves, turning the ball over 22 times against the Saints.

On the glass, the Bulldogs hit the boards hard as they collected nine offensive rebounds and 26 defensive rebounds, for a total of 35 rebounds.

In the win over the Saints, Counts led the way with 12 points for the Bulldogs. Carlson added 11 points for the Bulldogs, while Ryan Peck added 10 points and Maneotis added 8 points.

Moffat County (1-0) will have a week off before they travel to Middle Park on Friday, Feb. 5 to face the Panthers in Granby.

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