Lisa Camilletti pushes the ball against Kent Denver's Chloe Graves on Saturday at Moffat County High School. Despite Camilletti's 25 points, the Bulldogs fell in the regional final of the 3A tournament, 58-50.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Lisa Camilletti pushes the ball against Kent Denver's Chloe Graves on Saturday at Moffat County High School. Despite Camilletti's 25 points, the Bulldogs fell in the regional final of the 3A tournament, 58-50.

Moffat County girls lose to Kent Denver in Sweet 16

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Makayla Camilletti applies defensive pressure Saturday against Kent Denver.

Girls scoring vs. Kent Denver

Lisa Camilletti: 25 points

Kori Finneman: 10

Tori Snyder: 7

Sassy Murray: 5

Kyleen Ellgen: 2

Bailey Hellander: 2

Moffat County finished its season 20-4

— The script the Moffat County’s girls hoped for was rewritten by the Kent Denver Sun Devils on Saturday as they brought an unceremonious end to the Bulldogs’ season.

Moffat County battled for four quarters with Kent in Craig but didn’t hit the shots it needed in the closing minutes and fell, 58-50.

With a trip to the Great 8 of the Colorado 3A state tournament on the line, neither coach expected to run away with the game. But Moffat County scored 12 straight points surrounding halftime and took a 29-19 lead early in the third quarter.

But the Bulldogs couldn’t hold onto a lead that evaporated under the tough play from Kent guard Chloe Graves and post player Maya Love. Love especially wreaked havoc in the paint, scoring on offensive rebounds and using her athleticism on drives to the basket.

“No. 31 (Love), her athleticism really beat us today,” Moffat County head coach Matt Ray said. “She is a really tough player.”

Love had beaten the Bulldogs repeatedly in the first half, so Ray switched to a zone for parts of the second, but then the Sun Devils perimeter players knocked down jump shots.

“They won that chess match, so hats off to them,” Ray said about Kent after the game.

Lisa Camilletti scored 25 points, including a layup to bring Moffat County within one with 1:50 left in the game, in what turned out to be her final game for Moffat County. But she fouled out with 26 seconds remaining and had to watch the rest from the sideline.

The Bulldogs had a couple of shots to tie the game in the final minutes, but they didn’t drop, and Kent hit its free throws to put the game out of reach at the end. Kent head coach Cambrie Nelson said the plan was to focus on playing well instead of worrying about what Moffat would be doing.

“We knew it would be a close game,” she said. “When you’ve got two good teams, you have to play to your strengths instead of trying to shut them down so much.”

Nelson commended Moffat County for being a talented opponent and called Craig the “most gracious” town her team has ever stayed in. But the real reward for the Sun Devils was their first trip the Great 8 in more than a decade.

That was the goal Moffat County had in mind before the season started. And although the Bulldogs narrowly missed out on a trip to Fort Collins, Ray said he couldn’t be disappointed.

“As far as the year goes, you can’t ask for much better other than winning these last games,” he said. “We had seven great seniors this year who worked hard all year and represent what Moffat County basketball is all about. We’re a middle-of-nowhere school, and we compete. Hopefully one day, we’ll be the happy ones because when you lose the last game of the season, it is a sad thing.”

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

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