Moffat County basketball escapes from Olathe

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Numbers from Olathe...

Girls varsity scorers

Makayla Camilletti 11 points

Kori Finneman 10

Lisa Camilletti 6

Bailey Hellander 5

Kylee Ellgen 4

Sassy Murray 2

Boys varsity leading scorers

Joe Camilletti 10 points

Taft Cleverly 8

Tyler Davis 7

Moffat County’s varsity basketball teams endured another pair of adventurous games on the road Friday, but both emerged with wins.

The girls came from behind to beat Olathe’s girls in the second half and take sole possession of first place in the Western Slope League with a 38-35 win. The boys team survived a cold shooting night and also had a strong third quarter to beat the Pirates, 36-35.

Both teams will be back in Craig today to take on Gunnison in another league game.

Coming from behind again

When Olathe’s girls came to Craig in December, they looked like the better team for two quarters, before the Bulldogs turned on the gas and dominated the second half.

That was the story once again, this time in Olathe, as Moffat County overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to win, 38-35. The Bulldogs were led by Makayla Camilletti’s 11 points, but it was defense that turned the game around.

“We started the game off kind of flat and tense,” head coach Matt Ray said. “After half we came out with some poise and got our game going. We put a full-court press on and we were a little more aggressive. “

Ray said the press sped the game up to a pace where Moffat County was comfortable, but Olathe wasn’t. After leading 21-10 at halftime, the Pirates were rattled a bit and Moffat County took advantage, closing the gap to 30-28 by the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth, Moffat County continued its stronger play and came away with its biggest win of the season. Entering the game, the Bulldogs were a half-game behind the Pirates for the Western Slope League lead, but now they are alone atop the league standings at 9-1.

Moffat County won despite getting low offensive outputs from two of its top three scorers. Lisa Camilletti and Kylee Ellgen were held to a combined 10 points, but other players stepped up and scored in their place.

“They really put the pressure on Lisa and had a good game plan for Ellgen,” Ray said of Olathe. “It was nice to see Bailey (Hellander) and Makayla step up. That’s our strength, we really have a complete team. Any of those girls can score 10 points in a game.”

Leaving with a win

The boys team had not had nearly as much trouble in their first meeting against Olathe, but the Pirates brought their best defensive game Friday night and gave Moffat County all it could handle.

The Bulldogs had a cold shooting night, especially in the first half, but locked Olathe down on defense to keep the game close. They would eventually win a down-to-the-wire contest, 36-35.

“They played outstanding defense,” head coach Eric Hamilton said after the game about Olathe’s effort. “We didn’t play our best, we really slowed our game down and played their style. It was a horrible shooting night.”

Moffat County’s defense has typically helped create big leads this season, but after the Bulldogs trailed 15-11 at halftime Friday, their defense was keeping them within reach.

MCHS ratcheted up its defensive pressure in the third quarter and was able to secure a 22-19 lead at the end of the frame. They would extend the lead by a couple points early in the fourth before Olathe came back.

Hamilton said the Bulldogs held a one-point lead late in the game, but Olathe had only committed two fouls and had to use up valuable time getting into the bonus. When seven fouls had finally been committed, there would only be time for one more possession.

Tyler Davis missed his free throw for Moffat County and Olathe got off two shots in the final seconds that would have won the game, but neither fell through the net.

It was about as much as Hamilton could take.

“They missed two shots to win it,” he said. “Both really close. We’re going to take this win and get back home as fast as we can.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com

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