Fourth-quarter struggles cost boys |

Fourth-quarter struggles cost boys

Final minutes prove fateful in season's first three games

David Pressgrove

The fourth quarter has made the difference early for the Moffat County boys basketball team.

The Bulldogs gave away a double-digit lead to lose the season opener against Basalt. They pulled away from a close game in the fourth quarter the next day against Summit. On Tuesday night in Fruita, Moffat gave up a lead in the fourth quarter to lose 70-63 against Class 5A Fruita Monument.

“We had a couple of empty possessions, and (Fruita) hit some tough shots down the stretch,” coach Scott Parker said. “We played our best defensive game of the year tonight.”

The Wildcats came into the game 2-1 after playing in the Warrior Challenge during the weekend. Parker was impressed with the opponent.

“They are the best team in the valley,” he said. “They had solid guard play, and it opened it down low for them.”

Fruita junior Lane Ennis led all scorers with 29 points. He was the player down low who benefited from the Wildcats’ guard play.

The Bulldogs led throughout the game before relinquishing the lead midway through the fourth quarter.

“We need to keep getting in these situations and get better,” Parker said. “We lost to a good team tonight, and I would rather play up like we did every night than play down against a team like (Class 3A) Basalt.”

Senior Kevin Loughran scored a career-high 24 points, to lead the Bulldogs. Senior Derek Duran had 17 points and sophomore JT Haddan had 11 for Moffat County.

“We gave them a run and kept it right there most of the game,” Parker said. “We improved from our first two games in areas. That’s what we have to do.”

In the other games of the night, the Moffat freshmen won, and the JV team lost. Scores were unavailable.

The Bulldog varsity team (1-2) has two days to prepare for Evergreen at home Friday.

Moffat County defeated Evergreen in overtime, 46-43, last year on the road.

“Evergreen graduated a lot of seniors,” Parker said. “But they had a good JV team last year.”

Games start at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

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