The Moffat County Bulldogs boys basketball team trailed by seven points early in the fourth quarter Friday night. But within minutes, the team took the lead, controlled the clock and opened up the game to claim a 74-62 victory over the Demons from Glenwood Springs.
It was a huge game for senior Anthony Loughran, who finished with 30 points.
"He's what coaches call a player," Bulldog coach Mike LeWarne said, emphasizing "player." He said he meant that Loughran is good at every aspect of the game, not one who shines in some areas and falters in others.
Loughran is one of the best defensive players, who consistently pulls down rebounds, LeWarne said. And on the offensive side, Loughran scored layups in the paint, jumpers from 15 feet and two three-pointers.
"It wasn't how much he scored, it was when he scored," LeWarne said. "He took over the game at one point."
According to Glenwood coach Kevin Flohr, free throws were the difference.
"That's the only thing that determined the game," Flohr said. "Both teams played great. Both have great kids. I'm proud of both teams."
The Bulldogs made 24 of 29 free throws in the game. They scored 15 points from the line in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Derek Duran was flawless in the free throw department. He made 10 of 10 in the game and eight in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs' free-scoring opportunities came late for the most part, after Glenwood was forced to foul to try to get the ball back.
Moffat County trailed 35-34 at halftime. The Demons increased the gap to 49-45 by the end of the
Glenwood junior Sean Flohr, who finished with 25 points, kept his team in front with three-point baskets throughout the game.
Moffat County threatened to lead at times, but Sean Flohr consistently hit three-pointers, which pushed the Demons ahead. He seemed to have a green light to shoot outside the arc, often rolling off a screen and spotting-up far behind the three-point line. He scored nine points in the fourth quarter -- all from three-point shots.
The Bulldogs led the game, briefly, a few times in the second-half. But the Demons held a steady lead until a series of plays gave Moffat County the upper hand for good.
Sean Flohr's first three-pointer in the fourth quarter put the Demons up 45-52. But when the Bulldogs transitioned, Duran answered with a three-pointer for Moffat County. Then, senior Cody Palmer sidestepped his defender and scored a layup. Loughran was fouled on a drive to the hoop. He made one of the free throws to bring the Bulldogs within one point.
Glenwood's Oscar Jurado grabbed a rebound under the Bulldogs' basket and charged down the sideline, but Duran stole the ball and took it in alone to give Moffat County a 53-52 lead with 5:29 left in the game.
After Sean Flohr hit another three-pointer and Loughran hit one as well, the Bulldogs took a 4-point lead.
LeWarne called a time-out. Moffat County came out looking to control the clock and look for only "high percentage shots," LeWarne said.
A frustrated Glenwood defense was forced to foul the Bulldogs, who performed so well from the line that the lead continued to grow.
The Demons tried to press Duran, but the sophomore either broke the press single-handedly, or was fouled. He made his last free throws with 15 seconds remaining in the game.
Sean Flohr scored another three-point basket just before the buzzer, but it left the Demons 12 points short.