Big third quarter leads 'Dogs past Huskies

It was super hero night Friday during the Moffat County High School basketball games, and while he didn't wear a cape or a mask, Bulldog senior Anthony Loughran was the home team's hero.

"Anthony is a rock," Battle Mountain coach Phil Tronsrue said. "He plays defense, rallies the team, and tonight he couldn't miss his mid-range jumper."

Loughran scored 28 points in the Bulldogs' 64-47 handling of the Huskies. In the third quarter, his points almost filled the allotted space in the score book.

"The third quarter was pretty amazing from him," coach Mike LeWarne said. "What's nice is that guys are starting to take pride in getting Anthony open, and that's a good thing when you got someone like him."

On the sidelines, there were super heroes with oven mittens on their hands, underwear on the outside of their clothes and crazy wigs. All Loughran needed to be a hero was his turn-around jumper.

"My three wasn't falling, so I slipped a little more inside and things started to fall," the senior said.

In the first quarter, not much was falling for any of the Bulldogs. The Huskies, who have yet to win in the Western Slope Conference, battled Moffat County to an 11-11 tie. The visitors from Minturn were hanging with their opponents until 2:48 remained in the second quarter. The Bulldogs scored 10 unanswered points, which started with a three pointer from Cody Palmer and two put-backs from Loughran.

"We let them go late in the second," Tronsrue said. "That was probably the difference."

The full-court pressure started to get to the Huskies' young backcourt in the second half. Turnovers and hurried shots by Battle Mountain translated into a 24-point quarter for the Bulldogs, 15 of which came from Loughran.

"Teams are going to pressure us because we're so young," Tronsrue said. "In the second half, Moffat's pressure was as good as we've seen."

LeWarne agreed that his team tightened down on the Huskies in the second half.

"I told them we needed to execute better at halftime," LeWarne said. "We came out and wore them down."

The Bulldogs opened up a 21-point lead in the third quarter and coasted from there.

"I think we were a little disappointed with our effort in the first half," Loughran said. "If we would have played that poorly against a better team in the league we'd have been in trouble. Luckily we bounced back."

Tronsrue wasn't encouraged by the first half and is hoping his team continues to come around.

"We've played our best basketball the last week," he said. "We're without a couple of players who will be back soon and it will be interesting to see where we go from there."

Other scorers in double-digits for the Bulldogs were sophomore Derek Duran with 11 and Palmer with 10.

The loss dropped the Huskies to 2-9 overall and 0-5 in the WSC. The Bulldogs improved to 7-6 and 4-2. They'll have today off before playing five games in eight days starting next Friday with a home game against Palisade.

"I told them to take this weekend off because they're going to play a lot of basketball soon," LeWarne said.

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

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