Bulldogs fall to rivals in conference opener

In the last three minutes of the first quarter Friday night, the Bulldogs boys basketball team didn't know what hit them.

All was going well for the Bulldogs early in the first quarter, with three Bulldogs trading shots with two Steamboat Springs Sailors, and keeping the score close, and Moffat County leading 10-8.

That was the last time the Bulldogs led.

Three Sailors (John Daschle, Cody Sherrill and Ryan Scheer) scored 12 points in the closing three minutes of the first half all off of three point shots.

The Sailors closed the quarter by nearly doubling their score against the stunned Bulldogs, and the continued to outscore the 'Dogs the rest of the game.

The first meeting of the conference and valley rivals saw the Sailors sinking the Bulldogs 67-58.

"Their big guys on the inside isolated our posts and drew the defense in, which just opened up the perimeter for the threes," coach Blaine Corlett said. "It ended up being a game where we didn't play our game in the first, and we needed to play four quarters."

The Bulldogs were shocked by the Sailors, who opened the game with a 23-14 lead, but they were able to shake themselves out of the early disarray, and hold the Sailors.

Although the Sailors outscored the Bulldogs in the next two quarters, they only did so by a total of seven points, leaving the door open for a fourth-quarter comeback.

Behind sophomore Anthony Loughran, who fought through the tight inside defense of Alex Mackey and Scheer for eight points in the fourth, the 'Dogs nearly had their comeback.

By the time Loughran scored his sixth point, the Bulldogs were trailing by nine points with 32 seconds left on the clock.

Junior Pablo Loya was able to shrink the Sailor lead by 3 more points with 28 seconds left, but the Sailors started to run the clock out, forcing the Bulldogs to foul.

Point guard Jeff Aragon and forward Scheer hit on all four of the Sailors final free-throws,putting the game out of reach.

"We started to play our game in the second half, and took it to them," Loughran said. "It was too hard to come back on these guys, but we can't get behind in a game like we did."

Loughran's 17 points was overshadowed by one other Bulldog, senior Kyle Hazelwood who scored 18 points, all before fouling out with four minutes left in the game.

The loss to Steamboat Springs (6-2) leaves the Bulldogs with three blemishes on their record. The first two were at the hands of the Aspen Skiers and Virgin Valley, Nev.

The loss is a minor setback in Corlett's opinion. While his team didn't play up to expectations in the first half, Corlett saw the Bulldogs do good things in rallying back and never giving up.

"We knew coming in this was going to be a tough game," he said. "It was a hard first half to watch, but I'm proud of my guys for not giving up, and battling back in the second half. In the end the game isn't that damaging to the season, there's a lot of ball left to be played."

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