Third-quarter struggles doom Moffat County boys’ basketball in fourth straight defeat |

Third-quarter struggles doom Moffat County boys’ basketball in fourth straight defeat


Junior Myles Simpson holds the ball behind the 3-point line while being guarded by Steamboat's Jackson Meltzer Wednesday night at Moffat County High School. (Max O’Neill / Craig Press)

Following a promising 3-0 start to the 2021 season, the Moffat County Bulldogs’ boys basketball team dropped its fourth straight game Wednesday night at Moffat County High School, falling to the visiting Steamboat Springs Sailors, 56-35, in non-league action.

The lack of results in recent weeks is getting to Moffat County Head Coach Steve Maneotis, who has been bothered by the four consecutive losses that his team has suffered.

“Honestly, I just haven’t slept,” Maneotis said. “I’ve been up since the game last night. I just want to figure things out. I want to put our kids in a position to compete.”

Against the Sailors, senior guard Wesley Counts’ 7 points led the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs opened the game slow against the Sailors Wednesday night, trailing 11-2 after one quarter of play, marking the fewest points in a quarter the Bulldogs have scored all season.

Moffat County then found itself trailing 24-18 at the half thanks to a strong 16-point second quarter, but foul trouble in the second half helped the Sailors pull away as Steamboat outscored Moffat County 19-6 in the third quarter to take a 43-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter before closing out the 56-35 win.

Wednesday’s loss marks a turning point in the season. The recent struggles are something that Maneotis knows can only be fixed with hard work.

“Hard work. We have got a lot that we need to work on mentally and physically,” Maneotis said. “So, we’ve got to work tomorrow in practice, get back to some basics and get this thing turned around.”

The team is looking to reach the point where they all meld together and play as a team, which is something that is not happening right now, according to junior Myles Simpson.

“I mean, coach has been telling us with these four consecutive losses that we need turn the corner eventually, and we can’t do that right now with what’s going on right now,” Simpson said. “So when we turn the corner, I think it will be a lot better looking.”

After Moffat County High School Athletic Director Jeremy Cheuvrnot announced that each player would have four tickets to distribute instead of the previous two, the crowd for this game was much larger than it had been earlier in the season. The large group of students congregated together, cheering on their friends throughout the game.

Having a larger crowd made a difference to the players, according to senior Tanner Etzler.

“It felt great because it was a big game against our rivals and I felt liked it boosted our confidence,” Etzler said.

The Bulldogs return to action Saturday afternoon at home as they welcome the 3A Western Slope League rival Delta Panthers to MCHS. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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