The Moffat County High school girls basketball team captured second-place in its four-team pool Thursday, despite a 42-40 loss to Mountain Vista.
The Bulldogs (2-4 overall, 0-0 Western Slope League - 4A) clinched the second spot in Pool A of the eight-team Grandview Girls High School Basketball Tournament in Aurora, by virtue of a head-to-head victory against Rangeview.
"We kind of backed our way in," Bulldogs coach Craig Mortensen said, "but hey, we still have a game (today)."
On Thursday night, the Bulldogs and Golden Eagles (6-0 overall, 0-0 Continental League - 5A) battled through 48 minutes of intense basketball as neither team held a lead of more than four points.
"I feel like we should have won," Mortensen said. "We had good looks and good shots, they just didn't drop. It was a really close game though, throughout."
Moffat County tied the game at 40 with 20 seconds remaining in regulation, but, with seven seconds remaining, Mountain Vista drained what would prove to be the game-winning bucket.
"We got a shot off there at the end," Mortensen said. "It just didn't go in. Sometimes things just happen that way."
Despite the Bulldogs' 1-2 record in the tournament, Mortensen said he is pleased with the way his team is responding.
Moffat County is the lone 4A team participating in an event dominated by 5A schools.
"We're learning what it is that we have to do better," he said. "We're right there with those bigger teams and giving them a fight."
The Bulldogs aren't done fighting just yet.
Moffat County plays Arvada West (2-2 overall, 0-0 Jefferson County League - 5A) at 6 tonight.
John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org