MCHS boys hoops comes back to beat GJ Central
Something had to give Monday night.
The host Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team stood 0-3 early in the season. The visiting Grand Junction Central High School Warriors sported an 0-4 mark.
Neither team wanted to add another loss to their record, and the two teams played another four minutes to see who could break into the win column.
Fortunately for the home crowd, it was the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs earned their first win of the season Monday, defeating the Warriors, 58-56, in overtime.
A pair of free throws by senior Angelo Raftopoulos put the Bulldogs ahead, 54-53, while a lay-up by junior Colby Haddan brought the score to 56-53 with less than a minute left.
Senior Zach Raftopoulos followed his cousin’s example with a pair of foul shots that put MCHS up, 58-53, with 30 seconds left. This gave the team a comfortable lead when GJ Central sank a last-second three-point shot to end the game.
“It feels good to know that it paid off to shoot all those free throws,” he said.
The win was a difficult one, as the Bulldogs trailed most of the game.
A promising neck-and-neck first quarter that ended 15-14 in GJ Central’s favor turned into a bigger, 32-27 lead for the visitors at halftime.
But, the Bulldogs started to make their move in the fourth quarter.
“These guys just kept on battling,” coach David Bradshaw said. “We stayed within our offense and stayed patient.”
Bradshaw said the difference between the first and second half was noticeable.
“We had so many opportunities that we didn’t convert early,” he said. “They were taking advantage of us in the middle, too.”
The kinks were worked out by the final moments, as MCHS caught up to the Warriors.
Senior Dylon Camilletti and Angelo began and ended the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Camilletti began it with a three-point shot, while Angelo sank a lay-up to tie the score at 48-48, forcing overtime.
Senior Chet Harvey said he hopes to carry the momentum of the team’s first win for the rest of the season.
On Thursday, the team heads to the Palisade Tournament, playing Rifle in the first round.
“We’ve just got to show up and play our hearts out,” he said.
Zach said playing “team ball” is crucial for the rest of the season.
“I think we’ll definitely do a lot better, as long as we keep playing team ball,” he said. “Team ball’s huge.”
The coming week in sports for Craig and Moffat County.