Earlier in the basketball season, Craig Middle School eighth grade boys team lost a heartbreaking overtime game to Little Snake River Valley School after tying it up late.
On Tuesday, it took the Bulldogs another extra period, but they came away with the win.
The eighth grade team hosted Hayden at CMS, coming from behind in both the fourth quarter and the first overtime, before earning a 36-33 win in double OT.
“They executed really well when they needed to,” coach Drew Turner said after the game. “I wish they could’ve done that the whole game, but we got it when we needed to.”
The Bulldogs led 16-14 entering the fourth quarter but gave up an 8-0 run to start the frame and fall behind. Trailing by five late, the situation looked dire.
But Craig got a basket, and then a steal by Adain Wilmot sent him to the foul line with eight seconds left. Wilmot made the first and missed the second, and guard Chase Marshall tracked down the rebound, put up a shot and tied the game to send it to overtime.
In the overtime period, CMS again fell behind and trailed 25-29 with less than a minute to play. But they got a basket and forced another turnover to get the ball with eight seconds left, again.
Marshall missed a shot attempt, but Miki Klimper pulled down the rebound and was fouled. He calmly made both attempts and kept the Bulldogs alive.
“Chase hit that two to put us into the first OT, that was great for him,” Turner said. “And then Miki Klimper made those foul shots to force the second one. And Miki is not a big scorer for us, he’s in there for his defense.”
Finally, in the second overtime, Craig took the lead and didn’t look back. Marshall made two layups on the fast break and Wilmot hit a foul shot to give them a three-point lead, which Hayden couldn’t make up on its last-gasp effort.
“They played very well under pressure,” Turner said about his team.
Earlier in the evening, the seventh grade Tigers and Bulldogs squared off, and Hayden came away with the win in that contest, 30-12.
Craig struggled with turnovers for much of the game and couldn’t get shots to fall, causing them to fall behind early.
After a quarter it was 9-0 and most of the damage was done. Daylon Frentress wreaked havoc for Hayden from the guard position, applying defensive pressure to the Bulldogs guards.
CMS had its fair share of good offense in the game, but too few of those possessions ended with a made basket.
“We had our looks when we got it inside,” coach Jeff Schlim said. “We just couldn’t get most of those to fall. But they all fought and played hard the whole game.”
With the district tournament approaching Saturday, this was the last regular season tune-up for both Craig B teams. The A teams will have their final game at Soroco on Thursday before heading to districts in Meeker.
Despite the loss, Schlim has seen players come a long way this season.
“There’s been a major improvement from them,” he said. “From Day One, they’re a lot better now than they were then. That’s a major part of this early basketball, is getting them out and letting them learn.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.