Moffat County hoops gets early glimpse of league foes, ready to return in January |

Moffat County hoops gets early glimpse of league foes, ready to return in January

Moffat County's Evan Beaver pulls in a rebound against Palisade.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

After the first portion of their basketball schedules, the Bulldogs will look to carry over lessons they’ve learned in December tournaments to Class 4A Western Slope League play, which starts in the new year.

After a 1-2 run at the Warrior Challenge a week earlier, the Moffat County boys hoops team got after it during the Glenwood Springs Demon Invitational on Dec. 8-10, which began with a game against defending state champion Aspen.

The Bulldogs handed the Skiers their first defeat since March 2021 with a 59-44 win. As the team’s scoring leader so far this season, Bryant Carlson put up 16 points and Evan Beaver recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Moffat County will see Aspen again in January and in February.

The following day saw Faith Christian down the Dogs 73-36. Moffat County rounded out the tourney with a 62-43 loss to Peak to Peak, which put the Bulldogs’ record at 2-5.

Coach Mark Carlson said the early season games helped him and his athletes see where they need to improve.

“We played some tough teams, played way too inconsistently, and have a lot to do but have good time to work on it before we start conference play,” he said.

At the same time, the Moffat County girls basketball team has yet to play a home game this season after the Dec. 13 match against Uintah was canceled due to travel concerns.

Before that though, the girls competed at the Demon Invite. Despite a 19-point night by senior Cayden King, MoCo fell 55-38 to Glenwood at the onset of the tourney. However, the Bulldogs turned things around the next day, as they beat Palisade 56-41, led by junior Emma Tucker’s 12 points. The Moffat County girls wrapped the Demon Invite with a 46-22 loss to Cañon City.

The girls team was back on the road again this past week to compete in the Basalt Longhorn Classic on Dec. 15-17. To start the classic, senior Lizzy LeWarne picked up a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds as Moffat fell 58-35 to Kent Denver.

MoCo flipped the script for the second game and won 51-45 over Rifle, led by Tucker with 11 points. The Bears will be a Class 4A Western Slope League opponent with a rematch scheduled for Jan. 28. The Longhorn Classic finished for Moffat County with a 51-37 loss to Roaring Fork, putting Moffat County girls basketball at 3-4 so far this season.

Though it wasn’t as consistent as he’d like, coach Eric Hamilton said tournament play was a boon.

“They played great at times and had lots of positives to build on for the second half of the season,” he said. “We’re still working on finding perfect lineups. Lots of players are contributing every game.”

Both Bulldog basketball squads will be at work in the gym over the holiday break with their first competition of 2023 being a road game against Middle Park on Jan. 6 before the league opener at home with Coal Ridge on Jan. 7.

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