Moffat County boys basketball sunk by Sailors in Steamboat Shootout | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County boys basketball sunk by Sailors in Steamboat Shootout

Moffat County High School's Eddie Smercina looks to shoot during a Thursday game in Steamboat Springs. The Bulldogs lost, 58-38, to the Sailors in the first round of the Steamboat Shootout.

Steamboat Springs — The bad news for — The bad news for Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School boys basketball: a Thursday night loss to their most heated rivals. The good news: next week will be the rematch. boys basketball: a Thursday night loss to their most heated rivals. The good news: next week will be the rematch.

— The bad news for Moffat County High School boys basketball: a Thursday night loss to their most heated rivals. The good news: next week will be the rematch.

MCHS boys hoops fell, 58-38, to Steamboat Springs during the Sailors' home tournament, the Steamboat Shootout.

A physical game between the Highway 40 nemeses started out fairly even, the Bulldogs keeping a slim 14-12 lead in the first quarter, as three-pointers by Brent Cook and Kasen Brennise helped them jump in front following a takeaway by Eddie Smercina that netted Moffat County its first bucket.

Steamboat tied it up to start the second period and held the lead for the rest of the night from there, ahead, 26-21, at halftime.

If the first half was tough, the second was downright brutal as the Sailors outscored the Dogs, 20-9, in the third quarter, half of which came from Steamboat's Ethan Riniker, including a pair of threes.

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"We just had a lot more energy in the first half than the second, and their offensive scheme, they changed a few things on us," Moffat County coach Eric Hamilton said, adding that Steamboat's scoring effort was "very efficient."

Trailing 46-28 heading into the final period, MCHS was looking for redemption, but even with Keenan Hildebrandt shocking the Sailors by picking off passes and an all-around stronger defensive effort by the Dogs under the rim, the gap just couldn't be narrowed.

"We turned it over about 20 times, so losing by 10 baskets isn't too bad, we just really need to clean it up on our side," Hamilton said.

Cook, who led scoring with 15 points, complete with four triples, noted that the team was more prepared than the previous weekend in Leadville, though the Sailors were still a daunting opponent, one they'll play again next week in Craig.

"We worked hard, played as a team, but with their defense, it was hard to get open," he said.

Hildy took eight points, while Brennise and Justin Dugan each had five points with a single three-pointer. Colby Beaver also hit a three to close the game.

"I think we'll need to work on our man-to-man, more hustle," Beaver said of the remainder of the three-day Steamboat tournament.

The loss sends Moffat County to 1-3 so far, headed to the consolation brackets of the Shootout, their next game Friday afternoon against Pueblo Centennial.

After a Thursday win, MCHS girls move on to the semifinals of the tourney, facing Eagle Valley Friday night.

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