The Moffat County girls junior varsity basketball team lost a tough game against Hayden Tuesday evening at the high school gym.
The game was lost 40-25, but the team lost something more important three key players, Laura Duran, Charlotte Steele and Molly Morse. The girls suffered minor injuries during practice and the game.
The Lady 'Dogs' bench picked up the slack and played the best they could, but that wasn't enough.
"The girls played hard and with their hearts, Coach Mike LeWarne said. "The injuries really hurt us. The girls didn't complain about the injuries," he added. "They just kept playing."
Laura Duran sprained her ankle in practice Monday, Charlotte Steele has a stiff neck and Molly Morse sprained her ankle during the game, LeWarne said.
Duran and Morse won't be healed until after Christmas, but Steele should play the next game, he said.
The 'Dogs struggled on offense, working to find the open person, only to miss the shot, the coach said. The team suffered at the free-throw line, hitting four of 16, he said.
The defense played well and kept the score within striking distance.
"The defense did well," LeWarne said. "They did a good job in defensive transition."
The freshmen girls also played against Hayden and lost a close 37-34.
Hayden took a 19-4 lead early in the game.
"They struggled with the defensive transition game," LeWarne said.
Hayden scored 12 easy lay-ups points to start the game.
The Lady 'Dogs trailed at half time by 10 points.
Moffat County came out in the third quarter and executed their offense much better than the previous two periods.
"We ran the offense better," LeWarne said. "We were taking it to the hole and creating fouls. We shot well from the free-throw line, getting us back into the game."
The 'Dogs slowly pecked away at the lead and trailed by seven at the 1:00 mark.
"They never gave up," LeWarne said.
MCHS took Hayden to the free-throw line in the last minute of play.
"Hayden was letting us hang around," the coach said. "We gained four points on them."
With three seconds remaining, the Dogs came within three points. Their only hope was a half-court shot, but the played never materialized. The buzzer sounded, and the 'Dogs lost 37-34.