Moffat County boys blow away Basalt in high-energy hoops game | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County boys blow away Basalt in high-energy hoops game

Bulldogs take 4th consecutive win, move to 4th place in league

There was something "x-ceptional" happening Saturday in the Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School gym. gym.

Moffat County High School gym.

Bulldog basketball was in fine form at home this weekend as the boys varsity team triumphed 50-37 against the Basalt Longhorns.

Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball vs. Basalt

Team — 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final

MCHS — 9 13 12 16 50

Basalt — 19 5 5 8 37

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Coming off a win in Olathe the night before, the boys bunch wanted to capture their fourth victory in a row, knowing they would have their work cut out for them against a team that had downed the Bulldogs, 63-41, in their last meeting and had just beaten West Grand, 50-40, in a Friday night non-conference event.

As always in the introductions, announcer Shane Hadley gave each starting Bulldog a unique nickname, on this occasion for the boys' game, sticking with a theme: characters from the "X-Men" movies and comic books.

Starters Deadpool (Ben Robinson), Wolverine (Dusty Taylor), Quicksilver (Eddie Smercina), Iceman (Dylan Kincade) and Pyro (Brent Cook) took the first points of the game as Taylor sunk a three-pointer. Basalt responded the same way Magneto or Juggernaut might — swiftly and mercilessly, putting 14 points on the board until another three by Cook got the good guys back in action.

"We were asleep in the first quarter, but they woke up in the second," said coach Eric Hamilton.

Bulldogs rallied from 19-9 in the first to trailing 24-22 at halftime as a lockdown defense kept Longhorn scoring at bay and an overwhelming presence under the rim by Keenan Hildebrandt — let's just call him Colossus — won lots of second-chance baskets.

Basalt was limited to five points in the third quarter as the Dogs surged ahead, but Moffat County really caught fire in the first four minutes of the final quarter, jumping to 45-32 when frustrated Basalt coach Danny Martinez took a timeout right before Robinson nailed the and-one from the free throw line.

Taylor, Hildebrandt and Kincade all fouled out as the Longhorns held little back in their drive to catch up, but like their super-powered, temporary namesakes, the Dogs lived to fight another day.

"We had a lot of dumb fouls, but they wanted it bad, and they weren't gonna lose," Hamilton said. "They're just making better decisions offensively and playing better team defense. It took them a while, but they came together, and this team is really starting to click."

Hildy again led scoring with 15 points, Kincade 13, Robinson eight, Cook seven, Taylor five and Smercina two. Taylor, Cook and Robinson each hit one from outside, with Kincade taking dual threes, the squad five for 19 altogether. Total shooting was 18 for 56 and seven for nine on free throws.

Basalt had the top scorer of the day, Mike Glen netting 18 points overall, including two threes and six for eight at the line. Longhorns were 10 for 20 on foul shots, three for 16 on threes and 12 for 41 in overall shooting.

Moffat County improves to 6-9 overall and 5-5 in the 3A Western Slope League, while the Longhorns are 11-3, 7-3, their loss keeping them firmly in third place in the conference.

With their underdog win, MCHS makes a leap in the WSL standingsWSL standings, now in fourth thanks to Grand Valley’s Saturday defeat of 4-6 Roaring Fork. Rankings shifted greatly this weekend as 4-5 Gunnison upset Coal Ridge in double overtime to send the Titans into a power struggle with Grand Valley for the top spot, both at 8-2., now in fourth thanks to Grand Valley's Saturday defeat of 4-6 Roaring Fork. Rankings shifted greatly this weekend as 4-5 Gunnison upset Coal Ridge in double overtime to send the Titans into a power struggle with Grand Valley for the top spot, both at 8-2.

WSL standings, now in fourth thanks to Grand Valley's Saturday defeat of 4-6 Roaring Fork. Rankings shifted greatly this weekend as 4-5 Gunnison upset Coal Ridge in double overtime to send the Titans into a power struggle with Grand Valley for the top spot, both at 8-2.

Coal Ridge comes to Craig Friday, and the Dogs are ready to avenge another loss, falling in OT, 63-61, to the Titans in December.

"We've got to be prepared for their tough defense, and it'll be a tough game, but we'll be ready for them," Smercina said.

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.

Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball vs. Basalt

Team — 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final

MCHS — 9 13 12 16 50

Basalt — 19 5 5 8 37