Bulldogs lose by two in final second of game


Consider it a lesson learned for the Palisade High School boys basketball team.

Last week Glenwood Springs' Sean Flohr lit them up for 11 three pointers, the third most ever in a Colorado high school boys game. This weekend, Palisade was determined to not let another team's best player have a career night.

"To me it's a toss up between (Anthony) Loughran and Flohr for best player in the league," Palisade coach Keenon Clemont said. "We changed things up a lot on Loughran and switched guys often and I thought our kids did a great job."

Loughran was held to eight points, but it didn't keep Moffat County from being in the game the whole way. Yet, it may have kept them from winning.

"Palisade kept scrapping and kept themselves in it," Moffat County coach Mike LeWarne said. "They're a hot team and we couldn't pull away."

With the score passing back and forth the entire fourth quarter, Moffat County senior Cody Palmer drained a three pointer to tie the game at 54 with 1:30 left.

Neither team scored on their next possession, then Moffat County sophomore Derek Duran grabbed a steal on Palisade's end of the court with 15 seconds left. Seconds later, he had it taken right back by Palisade's Cory Swetnam. The Palisade guard grabbed the ball and raced to the basket for a lay up with seven seconds left. Moffat County had one more chance, but the shot fell short and Palisade had sealed up a minor upset.

"That loss really hurts," LeWarne said. "There's no way around that."

Moffat County had enjoyed a home-court advantage in Western Slope Conference play with only one loss the last two seasons, but it just wasn't enough Friday night.

"Some nights the ball bounces your way," Clemont said. "I'm not sure it bounced our way, but it definitely didn't help Moffat County tonight."

Several positives in the losing effort for Moffat County were from senior Cody Palmer, who had 18 points, and sophomore Kevin Loughran, who put in 15.

"Kevin really struggled last week, so he made a statement tonight," LeWarne said. "Cody has played well ever since Christmas break and tonight he put together another good game."

LeWarne blamed Palisade's speed at the guard position for causing problems all night.

"They created a lot of turnovers tonight," he said. "We had a hard time in the front court with their quickness."

Moffat County had 17 turnovers with the most costly one in the final seconds.

"You have to give credit to Palisade for coming in here and handing it to us," LeWarne said. "We have to put this behind us because Delta won't be any easier."

Clemont was still a bit energized by the atmosphere after the game.

"I love playing here," he said. "The crowd is great and it's a perfect basketball atmosphere."

Palisade (3-4 in Western Slope play) will try to keep the upset train rolling with a game against Steamboat Springs today, while Moffat County (4-3) will try to get its step back against Delta.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.

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