“It’s like controlled chaos. Both teams know what we’re trying to accomplish, which is force an error in the other team. Knowing it’s coming, both teams are really frantic.”
—Justin Gallegos, Moffat County high school freshman coach, about the pace of the game against Hayden
There were no girls games leading up to it and no varsity games to follow, but the Hayden and Moffat County C teams delivered a doozy of a game on their own.
The Tigers and Bulldogs played at a white-knuckle pace from start to finish in Hayden Tuesday. In the end, Moffat County outlasted the Tigers to win, 51-47.
The Bulldogs held a small lead for much of the first half but used a couple of spurts to open up a 38-27 advantage midway through the third quarter.
After a timeout Hayden came out with a renewed energy just when the game looked to be slipping away and went on a huge run, taking the lead 40-39 early in the fourth quarter.
Hayden coach Zach Engle said the comeback was a result of desire.
“The thing with this team is if we play with heart and give it everything we’ve got, we’re a totally different basketball team,” Engle said. “There’s times where we don’t do that. I think we win every game if we play all the time with heart.”
Both teams set up a full-court press and tried to cause turnovers for a majority of the game, turning the contest into a non-stop, up-and-down the court affair.
Moffat County coach Justin Gallegos said it makes for a hectic game to coach.
“It’s like controlled chaos,” Gallegos said. “Both teams know what we’re trying to accomplish, which is force an error in the other team. Knowing it’s coming, both teams are really frantic.”
Hayden would hold a 43-39 lead before Moffat County made a push after calling timeout.
“I had to call timeout when there was a momentum swing,” he said. “I called the timeout and settled our guys down. That seemed to be what we needed, was just to break that momentum. Go back to our kind of basketball where we have control and tempo on our side.”
The Bulldogs took a 46-44 lead with 1:14 left in the game, then got a basket from Hugh Turner after using some clock. Ben Robinson and Scott Foster would sink three foul shots over the final 30 seconds to seal to victory.
“The boys dug deep there late in the fourth quarter,” Gallegos said. “Coach (Engle) made some adjustments which were great, and they came back in the game and took the lead on us. We started rotating a lot better and playing hard to the ball.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.