Joe Camilletti drives to the hoop during Moffat County's basketball game against Aspen on Friday in Palisade. Camilletti was constantly attacking the basket against the Skiers and finished with 18 points as the Bulldogs won, 59-52

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Joe Camilletti drives to the hoop during Moffat County's basketball game against Aspen on Friday in Palisade. Camilletti was constantly attacking the basket against the Skiers and finished with 18 points as the Bulldogs won, 59-52

Bulldogs outlast Aspen in thriller

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Boys scoring vs. Aspen

Joe Camilletti 18 points

Javen Gumber, 14

Korth Hathhorn, 10

Tyler Davis, 8

Taft Cleverly, 5

Tyler Hildebrandt, 4

Tyler Davis was having one of his worst shooting nights of the season Friday against Aspen.

But the sophomore maintained confidence in his stroke and hit one of the biggest shots of the game to help Moffat County beat Aspen at Palisade High School, 59-52.

In a back-and-forth battle, the Bulldogs took a 10-point lead in the first quarter, but also got into foul trouble. Aspen was able to close the gap by getting to the line and getting into the paint.

Moffat County were paced in the first half by Javen Gumber and Joe Camilletti, who finished with 14 and 18 points, respectively. Camilletti in particular delivered against a hostile crowd.

While playing in Aspen, Camilletti was singled out by the student section and had one of his tougher games. There were chants against Camilletti again, but he came to play Friday.

“It just gives you confidence,” he said of the student section. “They’re chanting your name and you want to go out there and play well and silence them.”

Moffat County had a 30-24 lead at halftime but tightened up a bit in the third and early parts of the fourth quarter. In a fast-paced game, Aspen stayed close before tying the game at 46 with 5:17 to play.

After both teams sunk some foul shots, Davis, who had missed five threes already in the game, buried one from the wing to give Moffat County a 53-48 lead with less than two minutes remaining.

“I’m confident in my shot,” Davis said. “It’s all mental, just believing in your shooting. That was a big shot, but this was a team win. Everybody played great.”

From there, the Bulldogs protected the ball and sunk free throws to close out Aspen. Their end-game performance had head coach Eric Hamilton beaming.

“I just think these guys made so many smart decisions in that final quarter and at the end of the game,” Hamilton said. “These young guys were excellent. We did a great job on the glass, which was a key against" Aspen.

With the win, Moffat County advanced to the district championship game Saturday. The Bulldogs will play Roaring Fork at 3:30 p.m.

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow district tournament coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.

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