Aspen made a statement Saturday that the Western Slope League is not Moffat County’s to simply walk through.
The Skiers scored the first 19 points of the third quarter Saturday in Aspen to take the lead and pull away from Moffat County after the Bulldogs led by one at halftime. They improved to 4-0 in WSL play, while Moffat fell to 2-1 and 4-2 overall.
Aspen handled Moffat County’s pressure and exceeded the Bulldogs’ energy, especially coming out of halftime. Moffat got good minutes from its bench while some players dealt with foul trouble but came out in good shape, down 14-12 after a quarter and leading 27-26 at halftime.
But then the Skiers came out on fire and with a desire the Bulldogs didn’t match for several minutes. They scored from beyond the arc, on fast breaks and on offensive rebounds to make the game 45-27 with just more than three minutes remaining in the quarter.
“They out-hustled us, they got to every loose ball and we didn’t rebound,” said Tyler Davis after the game. “It was just a lack of energy from us.”
The Bulldogs closed the gap to 12 points by the end of the quarter but couldn’t get any closer in the fourth. Beyond Davis’ citing the team’s energy, they didn’t have many answers for what happened in the third quarter.
“They came out and seemed like they wanted it more,” head coach Eric Hamilton said. “They were on fire and we went into a slump and just got so far down so quick. Then they just played really well from there on out, I thought. They protected the ball and finished it.”
Aspen avoided costly turnovers throughout the fourth quarter and staked its claim to the top spot in the 3A league in the early stages of league play.
Moffat County players seemed dejected after the game, but Davis said the key is to get back to work in practice.
“We’ve got to move on and learn how to finish our games,” he said. “It goes back to working hard in practice, getting back to boxing out then applying it in a game.”
Hamilton felt the same way, thinking the Bulldogs need to regroup and keep working hard in between games.
“I’m not sure I have an answer other than we’ve got to get back to work,” he said.
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.