Moffat County boys basketball barks back, but can’t overcome league-leading Titans
NEW CASTLE — For three periods of their Friday evening game, Moffat County High School boys basketball was on pace with their opponents. Yet, for eight minutes in the middle, the only things missing from an example of chaos theory in action were a vicious T-Rex and a lecture from Jeff Goldblum.
MCHS fell 60-46 to the Coal Ridge Titans, who maintained their top position in the 3A Western Slope League with a 5-0 run in the conference and their seventh straight W.
The Bulldogs were slow to score, but a pair of deep triples from Brent Cook got them on the board at 8-6, the closest the night would be. The long ball approach didn’t have much luck from there, whereas Coal Ridge’s attempts in the paint were slowed down late in the quarter.
The Titan bench was especially fuming when Colby Beaver shut down a dunk attempt by Kevin DiMarco, who sunk two free throws to end the period with a 16-9 Coal Ridge lead.
The second quarter was where the Titans truly took over, putting together 16 points over four minutes — DiMarco stuffing one in midway through the run — before Beaver banked in a layup to stop the onslaught.
The result was a 42-16 tally at intermission.
Much like their rally the previous week against Roaring Fork, Bulldog boys were boisterous in the second half, complete with a 10-point run as Cook and Cale Scranton got in close to score and Landen Najera made the most of second-chance shots.
Cook hit four of five free throws — one of which came from a technical foul called against DiMarco for hanging off the rim during another dunk attempt — and another three before being called for a charge and earning his own tech to be forced to take a seat early at the close of the third quarter.
Though Bulldogs outdid the Titans 20-10 in the third and 10-8 in the fourth, the gap was too great to narrow.
“We can play with anybody, we’ve just got to play four quarters of basketball. You can’t win ball games when you play three,” said coach Eric Hamilton. “When they dig down and play defense, we can stop people.”
Still, players and coaches preferred to look on the bright side.
“Having a really good second half was our goal at halftime,” Kasen Brennise said. “Now we’ve just got to get two halfs.”
Cook led Moffat County in points with 15, tying with DiMarco who had the top Titans’ score, while Najera added 13.
MCHS boys are 7-7 overall, 0-4 WSL and will seek their first league win Saturday in Basalt.
“The next five games are crucial, every single one of them,” Hamilton said.