Craig Middle School basketball takes 2nd at district tourney in OT games with Steamboat | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Middle School basketball takes 2nd at district tourney in OT games with Steamboat

Craig Middle School basketball players gather around coach Mark Carlson at halftime against Meeker.
Andy Bockelman

Though they may not have finished on the side they wanted, Craig Middle School boys basketball teams took it to their competition to the very end in the district tournament.

CMS’s A-Teams each placed second in the Dec. 1 event in Rangely, with each of the Bulldog squads falling narrowly to Steamboat Springs in the final round.

The seventh-graders trounced Rangely easily in the opening game, 46-12, which coach Mark Carlson said included at least one basket by every player.

The Dogs faced off with the Sailors in the championship, a far more daunting opponent. The game went into overtime where CMS ultimately fell 38-36.

Carlson noted that a few too many fouls in the final minutes by the Bulldogs were an issue as Steamboat pulled in front.

“We missed some key free throws and Steamboat hit theirs, that was the difference,” he said, adding Craig went 2-2 with the Sailors in an 8-2 season, in which both losses were by two points.

The eighth-graders were likewise heartbreakingly close against their rivals, set up for the title game after a similarly one-sided first game with the Panthers.

“We were up by five in the fourth quarter, and it was real back and forth from there,” coach Steve Maneotis said. “We were tied, and with one second left they called a real chippy foul on us, but luckily the kid missed his shot.”

Going into OT, Maneotis said athletes started missing some crucial layups, which eventually led to Steamboat getting first place at 29-26.

“It was a good game, good season,” he said. “They played hard.”

He added he expects players will be able to step up in high school next year,

“There’s some guys on the team who will come in and contribute right away,” he said.