Nate Waggenspack: Thanks for the ride, Moffat County basketball

Well, our winter sports season in Moffat County is officially over.

The basketball teams extended it the past couple of weeks with some great wins. Then their seasons ended with a couple tough losses. For both teams, probably the type of losses you don’t forget about for a little while.

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Nate Waggenspack

But this column is about appreciating what they did this season, not bemoaning their fates when it ended, and both teams gave those of us who follow them quite a ride. A combined 37 wins and 12 losses (not including the boys’ consolation games at state), two district championships, two regional finalists and an appearance in the Great 8.

No other school in Class 3A had both its boys and girls teams win the district tournament, so that accomplishment is no small feat. And yet all the success these teams had only scratches the surface of what made them great during the 2013-14 season.

Beyond the wins, they were so entertaining to watch and noticeably improved during the season. At the start of the season, the girls team was a collection of new varsity players without any experience playing together, and it showed. They played messy basketball in some games and occasionally lost because of it.

The most notable of those losses came in a home game against Cedaredge, which was an important game going in. After a hard-fought but turnover-filled game, the Bulldogs lost and looked like they were in trouble as far as the Western Slope League was concerned.

That game took away their chance at a league championship, but it was no matter. A couple weeks later, they dominated Grand Valley at home, then won three in a row with dominant defensive play to take home a district championship.

Moffat County had the shortest set of guards in the league and not much size inside, but the team overcame it all year. By season’s end, they were gelling like a group that had been playing together for years.

On the boys team, expectations were high from the start but not met right away. The Bulldogs were beaten by Golden, and then again later in an early league game at Aspen. The team found its stride, only to lose twice in the final week of the season.

Holding on, the Bulldogs entered the district tournament on fire and picked up five straight wins on the way to the state quarterfinals. They flew around on defense, tore down rebounds and shot lights out from beyond the arc.

Oh, and all those dunks were pretty fun, too, weren’t they?

Point is, there weren’t many communities in the state of Colorado that had basketball consistently entertaining to watch as those of us in Craig did week after week this winter. Way to go, Moffat County basketball players and coaches.

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.

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