Battle of the unbeatens

Either Sailors, Bulldogs will get first loss during tonight's contest

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— Only one team in the Western Slope 4A conference will be unbeaten following tonight's conclusion between the Steamboat Sailors and Moffat County Bulldogs matchup that starts at 7:30 p.m. at home.

Steamboat, which is 3-0 in the league, takes on a 2-0 ball club that recently defeated Glenwood Springs and Palisade. The Sailors topped the Rifle Bears Friday.

The Bears reverted to a stall offense for much of that game, forcing it to result in a low-scoring 34-20 decision.

But the Bulldogs will try everything but stalling against the 10-0 Sailors.

Defensively, they use a number of defensive sets to try to confuse their opponents, Sailors coach Kelly Meek said.

They run zone and man-to-man defenses, and they often use a half-court press or run half-court traps.

But none of those defenses has seemed to work for the Bulldogs this season.

In nine games, they have allowed an average of 61.9 points. In a surprisingly comparable statistic, not including the Rifle game, Steamboat scores 61.9 points per game.

Andrew Johnston heads the scoring attack though he is unable to play against the Bulldogs tonight because of an ankle injury.

Guards Ryan Kiely and Jeff Aragon will have to pick up the slack as they did against Rifle when they teamed up for 17 points.

Rusty Eck, who grabbed 10 rebounds against the Bears, said the goal is to slow the opponent's fast break and wear them out with the inside game.

The 5-4 record the Bulldogs have compiled this season does not reflect the caliber of competition they have faced, Meek said.

The Bulldogs dropped games this season to two schools in the 5A conference.

"Their record is not at all indicative of what their team is (like)," Meek said.

The Bulldogs are led by seniors Kevin Voorhees and Jeff Gaylord and junior Kyle Hazelwood.

"They're very athletic and very quick," Meek said. "But they have a number of other kids who are in that 6-foot-2, 6-foot-3 range who can do some stuff, too."

Eck says the Bulldogs have played them tough in the past. However, he said, Steamboat has a mission to accomplish this season.

"Our goal is to run through the league," Eck said. "We're just setting our goals one game at a time. We want to go undefeated."

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