End of the line: Moffat County girls fall to Delta in second-round battle
Loss ends a strong season for Moffat County, which won 10 games in the condensed season
Struggling to hit shots and stay out of foul trouble, the No. 12 Moffat County Bulldogs’ girls basketball came up short in its upset bid against the No. 5 Delta Panthers Thursday night on the road, falling 63-44 in the second round matchup of the 3A state playoffs. On the scoring front they were led by sophomore Cayden King’s 14 points and senior Emaleigh Papierski’s 11 points.
The Bulldogs struggled to get stops after a first quarter that saw them hold a 12-9 lead after one quarter of play. That 3-point lead evaporated in the second quarter as the Panthers outscored the Bulldogs 17-8 to take a 26-20 lead into the half.
A tough second quarter carried over into a hard third quarter — one they have predominately dominated all season — for the Bulldogs as Delta stretched its lead to 45-33 heading into the final eight minutes of action.
The fact that the team was in foul trouble worked in conjunction with allowing some of the Panthers bigger players to hurt the Bulldogs. That includes Erica Kuta, who had 24 points.
“Foul trouble really hurt us against Delta. Some of our key players had to sit a lot of important minutes in the game,” MCHS head coach Eric Hamilton said. “We had to go with a smaller lineup and their bigs really hurt us inside.”
Hamilton’s message to his team after the game was a simple one about looking back on the season as a whole.
“My message after the game was that they should all be very proud for the outstanding season they achieved together and to remember everything about the entire journey not just the last game,” Hamilton said.
An 18-11 final eight minutes of action closed out the Delta win, ending a strong Moffat County season that saw the Bulldogs win 10 games and finish second in the 3A Western Slope League in a condensed season.
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It wouldn’t be a league event for Moffat County High School track and field athletes without bringing home some hardware, and the Bulldogs earned some metal last weekend.