Things started in a similar fashion Saturday night for the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team.
A couple of good shots to get the game going, followed by a slew of points by the visiting team, who on this night, was the Battle Mountain Huskies.
Trailing 16-8 after the first quarter, the Bulldogs seemed like they were running toward their ninth straight loss.
Then, senior Angelo Raftopoulos knocked in six straight points followed by a big 3-pointer from fellow senior Dylon Camilletti to put the Bulldogs up 17-16 early in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs never trailed again, as the team won its first Western Slope League game of the season, 60-55, over the Huskies.
MCHS outscored Battle Mountain 19-1 in the second quarter to go into the half with a 10-point lead.
After a steal late in the second quarter, senior Chet Harvey stood in the lane and took a charge from the Huskies.
“We out-hustled them in the second quarter,” Harvey said. “Our defense was great and we just kept pushing.”
With momentum working against them, the Huskies tried to battle back in the third quarter, and a steal followed by a lay-up to end the frame had Battle Mountain within five heading into the final frame.
The fourth quarter didn’t lack intensity for either team.
Camilletti hit a two 3-pointers early, but the Huskies used solid shooting of their own to cut the lead to three with about five minutes remaining.
Two late Battle Mountain free throws tied the game, 55-55, with 40 seconds left.
After Camilletti made one free throw for the Bulldogs, junior Colby Haddan grabbed a rebounded and got it out to senior Zach Raftopoulos, who was fouled.
“Going to the line, if I think about it, I get in my head,” Raftopoulos said. “I think about random stuff, like Notorious.”
It worked, as Raftopoulos hit both free throws and two more to seal the game for the Bulldogs.
Raftopoulos said it was a big win for his team.
“Our defense played big and made Battle Mountain commit some stupid passes,” he said. “In the end, we got the ball in the right hands to make the shots.”
Camilletti led the Bulldogs with 23 points. Angelo and Zach Raftopoulos had 11 points and 9 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs are 2-11 overall and 1-2 in the Western Slope League. The Huskies dropped to 7-5 overall and 1-2 in the league.
Bulldogs head coach David Bradshaw said it felt good to get a win with the losses piling up.
“The stretch we had in the second quarter was huge and it gave our team a lot of confidence,” he said. “That stretch made the difference in the game.”
While his team was able to limit mistakes, Bradshaw said the Bulldogs’ defense applied pressure to get in the Huskies’ heads.
“We came out with a 13 blitz and Battle Mountain made the mistakes instead of us,” he said. “We applied the pressure and found transition points in a great effort by our team.”
Bradshaw said big 3-pointers by Camilletti helped make the difference.
“Early in the first quarter, the shots weren’t falling, but in the second they started to,” he said. “We made adjustments on offense and our defense never let up.”