For fans on both sides of the ball, the game Friday became one of the classic battles in Moffat County High School vs. Rifle High School girls basketball history.
Trailing by five points, 38-33, heading into the final quarter, the Bulldogs tied it at 41-41 after Heather Urbanoski, a junior, hit a layup with three minutes to play.
Moffat County High School (MCHS) took the lead, 42-41, at the 1:26 mark when sophomore Ashleigh Gregg was fouled on a shot and nailed the first of two free throws.
Both teams were up and down the court in the final seconds with neither scoring. The Bears Lisa Samuelson, a junior, was fouled by Urbanoski with 2 seconds left on the clock.
Samuelson drilled both shots for a 43-42 Bears lead. The Bulldogs had one last chance to score as junior Emily Mortensen heaved a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer, only to see the ball land short.
"It was an exciting game," said Bulldogs coach Craig Mortensen. "I felt that the girls played a little tight against Rifle. If we would have done the little things right then we would have come up on top."
Both teams entered the game with a 3-0 league record.
"Rifle is a good ball team," said coach Mortensen. "They only have one senior on the team and a majority of them are juniors. I know that we can play a lot better against them the next time we play them."
For the Bulldogs, sophomore Amber Sanchez led the way with 10 points and Urbanoski ended up with nine points.
"The game was a good learning experience for us," said Mortensen. "When you lose sometimes that helps you down the line."
On Saturday in Glenwood Springs, MCHS wasted little time to get back on the winning track, routing the Glenwood Springs Demons, 64-31, to move to 4-1 in conference play.
"We played a lot more relaxed against Glenwood Springs than we did against Rifle," said Mortensen. "We played good defense and we had a balanced scoring attack."
The Bulldogs took control early on, jumping ahead 11-4 after the first quarter of play and never looking back.
"We were ahead the whole game," said Mortensen. "At halftime we were ahead, 27-11, and then we just poured things on in the second half."
For MCHS, Emily Mortensen finished with 12 points and junior Krystal Voorhees ended up with 11 points.
Freshman Laurel Mortensen added nine points while Sanchez finished with eight points.
The Bulldogs will next be in action at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the Meeker Cowboys come to town for a non-league contest.