Joe Camilletti goes up for a shot in transition against Roaring Fork on Saturday in the MCHS gym. Camilletti had 11 points, including a late 3-pointer, but Moffat County lost a close game to the Rams, 54-51.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Joe Camilletti goes up for a shot in transition against Roaring Fork on Saturday in the MCHS gym. Camilletti had 11 points, including a late 3-pointer, but Moffat County lost a close game to the Rams, 54-51.

Moffat County boys comes up just short vs. Roaring Fork on Saturday

Boys varsity scoring

Tyler Davis, 19 points

Joe Camilletti, 11

Kort Hatthorn, 6

Tyler Hildebrandt, 5

Phillip Chadwick, 4

Javen Gumber, 4

Matt Hamilton, 2

— Roaring Fork guard Dakotah Grett simply wouldn’t allow his team to lose in Craig on Saturday night.

Grett sunk six straight foul shots in the final minute of the 54-51 win in the Moffat County High School gym. In the process, he preserved Roaring Fork’s sole possession of the Western Slope League lead.

In a back-and-forth game between two of the league’s heavyweights, Roaring Fork came away on top when Moffat County sophomore Tyler Davis’ desperation three from the corner fell short as time expired.

“We had a bad first quarter and then I thought we played really solid for three quarters,” Moffat County coach Eric Hamilton said. “They just hit some shots, they were 100 percent from the line at the end. That point guard stood up and made some free throws.

“It was a great game to play in, we just want to be on top of them.”

In December, the Rams pulled off a big comeback to win 57-54 in Carbondale. This time, the game was more even throughout, but the result was the same.

Roaring Fork handled Moffat County’s press well, taking a 12-4 lead after one quarter on a double-pump 3-pointer from Grett as the quarter expired. The Bulldogs would respond in the second, going on a 9-0 run into halftime after Tanner Nieslanik had given the Rams a 19-8 lead.

In the third quarter, Moffat County seized the lead on the strength of its switch to a zone defense, which momentarily stumped the Rams. The Bulldogs had the lead entering the fourth quarter, but Roarking Fork coach Larry Williams told his players to get back to their game plan.

“We stopped doing some of the things we had been doing, such as getting back in transition, focusing on boxing out,” he said. “They made a heck of a run, and we just buckled down a little bit.”

Both teams played a strong fourth quarter, but Roaring Fork regained the lead and forced Moffat County to foul and send the Rams to the freethrow line. Eventually, Grett simply held onto the ball to make sure it was him taking the pressure shots from the line, and he didn’t buckle.

“Thank goodness Dakotah makes his free throws,” Williams said.

A 3-pointer from Joe Camilletti gave Moffat County a final chance to tie with 13 seconds left, but Davis’ prayer from the corner was well short.

The loss dropped Moffat County to third in the WSL at 12-3. It was the Bulldogs’ first loss at home this year. Roaring Fork improved to 14-1.

Both teams have one more game before the district tournament in Palisade on March 1 and 2.

The loss “is going to hit these guys for a while,” Hamilton said. “I’m sure they’ll have a miserable day thinking about it, but we’ve got a lot of basketball left. This will make us better for playoffs.”

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

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