Moffat County basketball places 8 on the 3A WSL all-conference teams |

Moffat County basketball places 8 on the 3A WSL all-conference teams

The awards were highlighted by girls basketball Head Coach Eric Hamilton’s third Coach of The Year award

Multiple basketball stuffed into the basket at Moffat County High School.

The Moffat County Bulldogs’ boys and girls basketball teams saw a combined eight players land on the 3A Western Slope League All-Conference teams.

Fresh off a run to the second round of the 3A State Tournament the girls basketball team saw five players honored along with Head Coach Eric Hamilton, who was named 3A WSL Coach of the Year. Moffat County’s boys basketball team landed three on the 3A WSL all-conference team.

Moffat County’s Cayden King squares up for a 3-pointer during a home game in February. (Andy Bockelman / For Craig Press)

Girls basketball saw three players named to the All Conference First Team as senior Emaleigh Papierski, junior Halle Hamilton and sophomore Cayden King were honored. Senior Amber Salazar and junior Jacie Evenson found their way onto the all conference honorable mention list.

On the sidelines, Hamilton was honored for pushing his team to a 10-4 overall record and the trip to the second round of the tournament.

Papierski also earned an All-State nomination for Moffat County.

The three players for the boys’ basketball team that made it onto the honorable mention list were seniors Wes Counts and Chris Maneotis, and junior Ryan Peck.

For the Bulldogs, Papierski led the team in points and rebounds per game with 13.9 and 6.7 respectively, shooting 41% from the field. The second leading scorer this season was King, who averaged 12.8 points per game and led the team in both steals per game and blocks per game with 3.2 steals per game and 1.3 blocks per game.

Hamilton finished third on the team in scoring with 9.4 points per game and led the team in dishing the ball around with 2.8 assists per game. Salazar made her presence felt this season by grabbing 4.4 boards per game, 1.0 steals per game and 6.6 points per game, shooting 40% from the field. Evenson made an impact off the bench for the Bulldogs, collecting 4.3 points per game, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists good for fourth on the team behind the aforementioned group.

The fact that they did get five players honored was a testament to their skill as a team and their starting five’s skill, Hamilton said.

“That’s really awesome for us to get three first team all conference and two honorable mention. That’s outstanding and that just shows you how talented we were and how really talented our starting five was,” Hamilton said. “It’s really special for us to get five players on the all conference.”

This was Hamilton’s first season back on the sidelines after a year off, after he spent the previous eight years coaching the Moffat County boys. Hamilton took a program that went 12-9 in the 19-20 season to a 10-4 season that included their first win in the state tournament since the 18-19 season. This is his third time winning the Western Slope League Coach of the Year after winning it in 2014 and 2015.

Hamilton was honored by the award but gave it up to his team for helping him win the award.

“That’s just a tribute to the players. That’s having really talented players that play hard and play with first class sportsmanship,” Hamilton said. “It’s just a reflection on your players really.”

For the Bulldog boys, Counts was a driving force for the team this season, averaging a team-leading 13.8 points per game, and 1.2 blocks per game. Counts also finished third on the team with 4.7 rebounds per game.

Moffat County's Ryan Peck skies for a rebound with teammate Myles Simpson between two Roaring Fork defenders. (Andy Bockelman / For Craig Press)

Maneotis led the team with 2.4 assists per game and Peck showed off his rebounding prowess this season, leading the team with 6.8 rebounds per game. Peck was second on the team in terms of assists per game, collecting 2.1 assists per game. Maneotis showed off his defense this season coming in second on the team with 1.8 steals per game.

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