GYPSUM -- Throw the youth card away.
Moffat County High School boys basketball coach Mike LeWarne has decided he can no longer use the phrase "we're a young team" anymore when explaining his guys.
"It's halfway through the season, so we can't use that anymore," he said. "We can't blame it on being young."
If youth equates to missing open shots, then that is a reasonable explanation for the Bulldogs 46-59 loss to Eagle Valley.
Or it could have just been Moffat couldn't find the bottom of the net.
"We missed a lot of open threes," junior guard Derek Duran said. "Then, underneath, we just didn't finish at times."
Eagle Valley coach Pat Gabriel didn't think he saw the typical Moffat County team.
"I was pleased that we held Moffat County to 46 points," he said. "But they didn't shoot well at all and that's not normal."
The Devils had no problem hitting shots. Especially senior Cody Gerard in the first quarter. Gerard scored 13 in the first eight minutes, including three threes. Senior Kevin Cruz added two more threes and Eagle Valley's hot shooting gave them as mush as an eight-point lead early.
The inside play of Kevin Loughran and Jarrod Holmlund kept Moffat in the game the first quarter.
The duo combined for 12 of the Bulldogs' 17 points in the quarter.
Then foul trouble dogged both of the post players in the second quarter, and the Bulldogs only managed two field goals.
The halftime lead for the Devils was nine points at 36-27.
"We talked about at halftime that we needed to keep it close, and then we'd have a spurt like we usually do," Duran said.
That spurt nearly came at the end of the third quarter when three of Eagle Valley's starters, including Gerard and Cruz were on the bench with foul trouble.
Senior Hugo Quezada hit two free throws to bring the Bulldogs within seven points, 43-36.
Eagle Valley reserve guard, senior Rodney Martinez, answered with a 3-pointer and an off-balance layup to put his team up by 12 with one minute left in the quarter.
"Our nonstarters don't always play that way," Gabriel said of his backups' ability to keep the lead.
"Tonight they held it for us and hit some key baskets."
Eagle Valley's starting line up reentered in the fourth quarter and spread the offense out to run off some clock.
The Bulldogs were able to score only one field goal and six points in the fourth.
"It's not that our effort isn't there," LeWarne said.
"We just couldn't get on a roll."