Moffat County has happy hoops holiday at Pepsi Center | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County has happy hoops holiday at Pepsi Center

Bulldog boys, girls basketball teams conquer Coal Ridge in league opener; Mattie Jo Duzik, Justin Dugan MVPs

The holidays were made a little bit happier Friday for the members of the Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School basketball teams. basketball teams.

Moffat County High School basketball teams.

Both Bulldog varsity squads finished the road trip to Denver victoriously, each now 1-0 in the 3A Western Slope League with wins against Coal Ridge at the Pepsi Center.

A 62-60 final score was a thrilling conclusion to the day for the boys in a game that was neck and neck throughout, including a 29-27 halftime tally, with the Dogs keeping the lead against the Titans.

MCHS guys improve to 2-6 on the season and are temporarily at the top of the WSL rankings as the only team with a conference win so far.

With dual losses to Coal Ridge last season, 63-61 and 51-50, the win is a big one for Bulldog pride, and besides the added excitement of playing on the same floor as the Denver Nuggets, the game was an altogether solid outing, said boys head coach Eric Hamilton.

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"Just an outstanding team win," he said. "Defense was awesome, and we had guys make great plays when it was do or die. Very smart game by our top guys."

Moffat County fans also were able to enjoy the evening Nuggets game against the Atlanta Hawks, before which players presented the American flag.

In addition to athletes having a moment to shine, members of the MCHS choir program performed the national anthem during the day, including Eliana Mack, Reilley Gumber, Madelaine Petersen, Mackenzie Hanson, Melissa Davis, Aaron Hill, Sambu Shrestha, Devin Mcintosh, Laura Bolton and Katie Haskins.

Earlier in the day, the 7-1 Moffat County girls team took care of business with a 45-25 win against Coal Ridge, against whom the Lady Bulldogs haven't lost a game since 2014.

Kenley Nebeker noted that a 16-point performance by Mattie Jo Duzik was among the highlights. Duzik and the boys’ Justin Dugan were each named most valuable player for their games, taking home basketballs autographed by the Nuggets roster.

"Girls looked pretty dang good," he said. "Mattie Jo did really great work under the glass, showed some real mettle, and the whole team looked good around her."

Nebeker watched the game from the stands due to an ejection from Moffat County's Dec. 16 game with Steamboat Springs, which he said was "heartbreaking" not to be on the floor.

However, he added that assistant coach Joe Padon filled the role excellently.

"I'm blessed to have really solid assistants, and Joe took the reins and didn't miss a single beat," he said.

Bulldog junior varsity will host the Titans Feb. 3. MCHS C-Teams will have the first games after returning from the winter break, meeting Roaring Fork on the road Jan. 4. Both JV and varsity will play at home Jan. 6 against Aspen.

"I think we're all excited to progress the season along," Nebeker 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.