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Bulldogs win in thrilling fashion

John Vandelinder

— Trailing by nine points at the end of the first quarter Friday night, the Moffat County boys basketball team needed a spark.

Enter Blake Najera, who held his own block party, and Thomas Noble, who rained in 3-point shot after 3-point shot, helping Moffat County comeback to defeat visiting Glenwood Springs, 61-59.

“This is a quality win for us over a quality team,” Moffat County coach Steve Maneotis said. “Teams better watch out for us. Nobody better take us lightly.

Noble, or “Mr. Big shot” as his teammates call him, made all five of his 3-point attempts, finishing as game high scorer with 23 points.

“Sometimes you just get into rhythm,” Noble said. “Once you make one and then another, you just start to feel it. I was feeling it.”

Tied at 57 with 30.9 seconds remaining in regulation, Noble spotted up and drained his fifth 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs the lead.

Glenwood Springs (10-5 overall, 5-3 Western Slope League) had a chance to tie the game with 18 seconds remaining. Demon guard Kevin Screen drove the lane and made a tough basket as the referee’s whistle blew with 11 seconds left.

The problem for the Demons: It was an offensive foul.

Najera slid into position to take the hit, maintaining possession for the Bulldogs and sealing the win.

“I didn’t even see Blake,” Maneotis said. “I just saw him pop up with a smile on his face.”

The win was the fourth in a row for the Bulldogs (5-11 overall, 4-4 WSL) and pulls them back to even in league play.

“The guys aren’t taking it too well,” Demon coach Greg Hire said. “We are all disappointed. It was a tough call to take with 11 seconds left in the game.”

Najera was pumped outside the locker room afterward and full of confidence.

“We’ve really come together,” he said. “That’s what I’m talking about. You all better watch out for the Bulldogs.”

Chayton Owens finished with 16 points for the Bulldogs. Najera added 10.

Glenwood was led by Connor Riley’s 18 points. Screen finished with 10.

Junior varsity

The Moffat County boys junior varsity basketball fell victim to the visiting Demons on Friday, losing by 15 points, 61-46.

Glenwood Springs was led by William Rosas, who scored 13 points and Russell Collins, who added 10.

Chris Baker led the Bulldogs with 10 points.


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