For those of you who missed the Moffat County High School/Steamboat Springs boys basketball game Tuesday night you need one thing. The telephone number of the high school to request a copy of the tape because if you're a Moffat County Bulldog fan and you missed it, it's more must see than Thursday nights on NBC.
In this epic battle, the second half included a big comeback, eye-opening plays from both sides and a nail-biting finish. When all was said and done, the Bulldogs finished off a regular season sweep of their rivals with a 51-49 win.
I won't describe too much so I don't give it away, but I'll give you a sampling.
First was the third quarter comeback.
At the beginning of the third quarter, the Bulldogs' offense was flowing about as well as the Yampa River in October. The boys in blue didn't move the nets until three minutes remained in the third quarter. By that time, the Sailors had opened a five-point lead at half time into a 13-point whooping.
Yet with senior Pablo Loya on the floor, no lead is safe.
The sharp shooter had two points in the first half but late in the third, the "en fuego" sign lit up and it became the Pablo Loya show. To the jabs of "Pablo sucks" from his family cheering section (mostly from his older brother), Loya scored 12 points in the final minutes of the third quarter, including a three pointer that was one of the most eye-opening plays I've seen in a high school game.
The shot came after Loya had already hit two three pointers so the Sailors were guarding him like cellophane on an old window. Pablo caught the ball with a Steamboat player in his face, faked a pass with the ball and his arms going over the defender's head and, as the defender looked away to watch the pass, Loya pulled the ball back up and hit the shot.
I looked over at Steve Miller and Dustin Ence, who were announcing the game for Channel 27, and they were in disbelief. That shot brought the Bulldogs within three and they would get it to two by the end of the third quarter.
At this point I was thinking to myself, "Man, I'm glad I'm not covering this game." As a reporter it's a general rule to be neutral during a game and just to record what you see from both team's perspectives.
I had covered the first game between the Yampa Valley rivals in Craig for the Steamboat Pilot and last night they covered it for me. So for once, I went to the game just to be a fan.
I definitely picked a good night as the last three minutes of the game seesawed back and forth. I don't know if I could have held my pen or my camera steady. Anthony Loughran gave the Bulldogs their second lead of the game with 14.6 seconds remaining. The final 14.6 seconds took about three minutes, and it reminded me of watching games with my dad because he would always say, "Well, three minutes left, that means we've got about an hour to watch."
Steamboat's Kyle Nelson banked a three-pointer in with 1.7 seconds on the clock for the apparent win, but he stepped out of bounds before the shot and the Bulldogs were able to run out the final 1.7 seconds.
I'm telling you, talk to Mike LeWarne about getting a copy of the tape, it could even be the next fund-raiser for the weight room.