Moffat County basketball sees varied night in Delta |

Moffat County basketball sees varied night in Delta

Moffat County High School's Landen Najera motions to teammates against Summit.
Andy Bockelman

The “fighting like cats and dogs” cliché may be inevitable when it comes to Moffat County High School basketball’s latest matches, but a stressful night in Delta was something Bulldog hoopsters were hoping to avoid.

Varsity teams took dual losses on the road Friday, with high stakes for both teams but vastly different game details against the Panthers.

With similar records so far, Bulldog boys’ night of evenness with Delta played out repeatedly in a match that saw the score tied up no fewer than 18 times, including a 32-all first half and a draw at 67 at the end of regulation play that sent the two teams to overtime.

With a last-minute bucket by the Panthers catching them up in the fourth quarter, the hosting team rallied in OT to break away for good at 71-71 and take the win at 79-75.

The loss for the Dogs put them at 6-9 overall and 4-2 in 3A Western Slope League play.

Leading up to the close night for boys was a much greater struggle for the girls as they trailed the entire evening.

Lady Dogs fell 51-29 to the defending champions of the WSL, a win for Delta that may have already guaranteed them the crown again at 6-0 in the conference.

The Lady Panthers narrowly defeated Cedaredge 33-31 on Tuesday, which MoCo girls knew wouldn’t make it an easy face-off for them after losing to the Bruins in January.

Lady Dogs only faced Delta once during the 2018-19 season, then taking their only conference loss at 49-43 and later denied the chance to meet Panthers in the district finals thanks to an upset by Cedaredge.

A slow start for both teams Friday night saw Panthers leading 7-4 after the first quarter, with Jacie Evenson hitting a three-pointer for the Bulldogs to close the period.

From there, the going got tougher for the visiting team as Delta put up another 11 consecutive points before Bree Meats answered back for MoCo with an inside shot as Emaleigh Papierski and Cayden King helped get Dogs in double digits, behind 25-12 at halftime.

In a night that saw both teams earn 18 fouls apiece, the vast majority came in the third quarter as opponents made their way to the free throw line, though Delta kept running up the score from elsewhere on the court, ahead 38-17 going into the last minutes.

MCHS saw its best scoring groove in the fourth, including a late triple by Halle Hamilton, but Panthers didn’t let up their energy, sending their visitors to 10-5 overall and 4-2 in the league.

MCHS teams host Aspen Saturday, with boys C-Team scheduled to start the day with the Skiers at 10 a.m. followed by JV and varsity with an alumni ceremony for the boys program capping off the day.

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