Moffat County boys basketball sweeps through Lake County Tourney
Apart from one monster win, the entry into last season was less than remarkable for Moffat County High School boys basketball, yet the same tournament saw vastly different results this time, amounting to their best start since 2012.
MCHS hoops went 3-0 during the Lake County Tournament in Leadville, defeating all three comers in the round robin format.
A 96-88 Friday victory over Eagle Valley not only made for a high-energy opener but also proved to be the most points in a single game that the Bulldogs have scored since February 2014.
Though the Devils nailed 13 buckets from outside compared to two triples by the Dogs, nearly every Moffat County varsity player scored with four in double digits, led by Kasen Brennise with 16 points, Landen Najera 15 and 13 each for Brent Cook and Jerod Chacon.
“Very fast-paced game, they pressed and ran all night,” coach Eric Hamilton said. “Excellent hustle and teamwork.”
The momentum continued the next morning with a 72-34 blowout over the Crested Butte Titans as Cook put up 16 points with a pair of three-pointers, followed by Brennise with 15.
The final round was against the put-upon Lake County Panthers, whose hopes for turning around a 2-18 year were not off to a good start with defeats to Eagle Valley and Crested Butte.
It may not have been the 83-20 triumph MCHS boys earned to close the tourney last year, but a 78-67 score was enough to send the Bulldogs home with a sweep, led by Cook with 21 points.
Hamilton attributed the closeness to lapses in defense and weariness from Leadville’s legendary elevation.
“The guys were just exhausted, but we got out of there with three good wins,” he said.
Up next for the Bulldogs is the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out, starting Thursday against the Roosevelt Rough Riders of Johnstown.
MCHS will be the first opponent of the season for the 4A school, coming off an 8-16 previous season.
“I’ve seen them at Steamboat the last couple years, and they’re a very solid ball team,” Hamilton said. “We’ll have some tough practices coming up. They’re tired, but we’ve got to get on it.”