The eighth-grade boys basketball A-team may have met its match.
The team had not lost a game in middle school but the boys in blue almost tasted defeat for the first time Saturday at Craig Middle School.
Rangely's full-court press created turnovers and the Panthers came back from a nine-point deficit in the first half to take the lead with two minutes remaining in the game. The Bulldogs were up by one with 5 seconds left in the game as a Rangely player was fouled for two free throws. The first free throw was made to tie up the game but the second missed and Eli Buckner rebounded the ball and threw it to an open Clack Cleverly. He was fouled and with two second on the clock Cleverly had two free throws to seal the game.
Those two free throws were made and the Bulldogs escaped with a two-point win.
"They'll come at us again with the press," coach Craig Conrad said. "We didn't play it well but we'll work on it."
Leading the Bulldogs in the 59-57 win were Colton Conrad and Eli Buckner with 20 points each.
The seventh graders also had their closest game of the year with a 29-21 win against the Panthers. The Bulldogs were able to pull away from an 18-14 lead at halftime.
Leading the team in scoring were Mike Peters and Collin Jackson with six points a piece. Scott Dockstader had six points and Zach Kelley and Chayton Owens had four points each.
The night before the middle school basketball teams played in Steamboat Springs. The eighth-grade A-team played another close game with 48-44 win. The Bulldogs and Sailors went into the fourth quarter tied at 33 each. Josh Satterwhite led the Bulldogs in scoring with 16 points. Buckner put in 15 points to help the Bulldogs.
In the B-team game, Anthony Flores led the Bulldogs to a 32-18 win with 13 points.
The seventh-grade A-team earned its second win against Steamboat Springs with a 36-10. The Bulldogs opened up a 12-5 halftime lead with 10 points from Owens in the third quarter. Kelley and Mike Peters each had six points. In the B-game Kelton Willbanks had 10 points and Jose Valdez scored eight as the Bulldogs won 34-11.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.