Bullpups bring down Rams | CraigDailyPress.com
Tom Schafer

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Bullpups bring down Rams

Once the Craig Middle School seventh grade B team took control, the Soroco Rams didn’t have a chance. The ‘Pups won the game, 27-22, but not without a last-minute fight.

“It was a close game for us,” coach Lori Dodge said. “The team’s hustling made a difference in the second half.”

The Bullpups broke open the fourth quarter with a steal and a lay up to trail the Rams, 20-17 a score that was close enough to spark the team to life.

The team put on the tough defense against the Rams and forced turnovers. CMS player Derek Duran capitalized on a turnover and made an easy basket, bringing the score to 20-19 with four minutes remaining in the game.

“The team was playing a tough man-to-man defense late in the game,” Dodge said. “And were forcing mistakes.”

The active play of Duran, who scored two more points on a steal play, gave the ‘Pups their first lead since early in the game. The score stood at 21-20 with 2:35 remaining too close to call.

The ‘Pups and the Rams traded several baskets until Nick Jones hit a soft jumper with 1:18 left in the game, putting the ‘Pups on top 25-22. Lincoln Cleverly iced the game 27-22 after hitting a fifteen footer with 30 ticks to go.

“The team had a bad first half,” Dodge said. “They missed a lot of open shots and were fouling too much. The second half, they opened up their offense and were looking for the shot and the open guy. They hustled and played well together as a team.”

“It was a well-played game on both sides,” Rams’ Head Coach Joe Mauch said. ” Until the team ran out of gas at the end. This happens a lot when you have a team of seven.”

Mauch added, “We enjoy coming over here to play Craig.”

The evening wasn’t finished until the Bulldogs eighth-grade A team beat the Rams a convincing, 50-31.

“It was a great game for the kids,” Head Coach Mike LeWarne said. “They practiced hard all week and listened well.”

The Bulldogs quickly dominated the game on a 10-2 run in the first quarter on fast break plays that left the Rams behind.

LeWarne credits the ‘Pups’ early success to the use of trapping zones that threw the Rams’ offense out of rhythm, causing them to make bad decisions.

“The zone trapping work well, LeWarne said. “It put pressure on the ball and was forcing turnovers.”

The Rams scored two quick baskets on turnovers when the ‘Pups were pressed on the inbound pass in the second quarter, but still trailed, 12-6.

The Bullpups broke the press and finished the half with a 12-point run, making the score 24 -10.

In second half, the Bulldogs put more ball pressure on the Rams and out-scored them, 26-21.

The Rams were flustered by the Bullpups’ pressure defense all game, but broke the pressure and went on 6-0 streak, bringing the score to 38-29 with 3:12 remaining, but it wasn’t enough to keep the game close.

The ‘Pups rallied and closed out the game with a 12-2 run. The final score was, 50-31 the Moffat County players coming out on top.

“I’m proud of the way the guys played,” LeWarne said. “The guys were setting good screens and finding the open man for the shot.”

“The team played well tonight,” said Hugo Quezada.

“The kids are working harder at practice,” LeWarne said. “They are playing their best ball at the end of the year, right before districts.”

The top scores were Trevor Simones with 12 points and 5 steals, Jared Lowther had 12 points and Daniel Tague with 5 rebounds and 6 points, The eighth-grade basketball team has its last regular season game against Rangely at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Craig Middle School. The A team will play at districts 9 a.m., Dec. 9 at home.

The seventh-grade A, B and C teams will play again at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Craig Middle School. It is the last regular game of the season. The seventh-grade A team will play in districts in Steamboat Springs, Dec. 9