Moffat County boys basketball falls in heartbreaking fashion to Roaring Fork on Senior Night |

Moffat County boys basketball falls in heartbreaking fashion to Roaring Fork on Senior Night

Bulldog girls dominate Rams in 66-22 win at home

Moffat County's Ryan Peck skies for a rebound with teammate Myles Simpson Tuesday night between two Roaring Fork defenders. (Andy Bockelman / For Craig Press)

Needing a win to remain in 3A state playoff contention, what was once a promising season came to a disappointing halt Tuesday night on Senior Night for the Moffat County Bulldogs.

Though there is still one game left, a win would have kept the Bulldogs firmly in the state playoff picture. Instead, Moffat County found itself on the wrong end of controversy Tuesday night, falling to the visiting Roaring Fork Rams 52-51.

The Bulldogs had control of the ball on the final possession of the game, running a play to try and get a good look at the bucket, but time ran out Tuesday with junior Ryan Peck sitting out of bounds, after attempting to save the ball by throwing it off a Roaring Fork player. As the final buzzer went off, the Bulldogs were contending that there should be a second left on the clock, but officials overruled Moffat County’s argument, ending the game in favor of the visiting Rams, setting off heartbreak and frustration for the Bulldogs.

Prior to the game, the team’s four seniors — Wesley Counts, Tanner Etzler, Chris Maneotis and Hector Salazar — were honored alongside their families in a special pregame ceremony. The ceremony also included a speech written by head coach Steve Maneotis, thanking the four seniors for their impact on the program.

The moment was a great one for senior Tanner Etzler, who was introduced with his mother.

“It was awesome cause senior night, big night, last home game. It felt great that she watched me and that she came out with me too,” Etzler said.

Once action tipped off, the Bulldogs found themselves in a tough battle with the Rams, leading up to an intense final minute.

The Bulldogs found themselves down 52-46 with 35.6 seconds to go, before missed free throws and clutch buckets brought the game to within one. The MCHS bench exploded after a missed free throw prompted a timeout from the Rams with 6.7 seconds to go.

With one final possession, the Bulldogs couldn’t get a good look at the bucket, resulting in the loss.

Moffat County had to run the final play with both Counts and Maneotis on the bench after fouling out, something that made their life harder.

“It’s not a good feeling when you’re a senior and you foul out and two of them were sitting on the sideline at the end of the game,” Steve Maneotis said.

The hard fought loss was a heartbreaker to many, especially the seniors with players on the team visibly emotional after the game. That extended to head coach Steve Maneotis, who was very somber after the game.

“Huge, tough on all of us, all year long we’ve felt like we were worthy of a playoff spot and we haven’t played to that level. So, tough loss,” Maneotis said.

The Bulldogs look to get back on the right track in their final game of the season, on March 6, when they make the trip to Aspen to face the Aspen High School Skiers.

On the scoring front the team was led by senior Wesley Counts with 13 points. The loss drops the team’s record to 6-6 (2-3 3A WSL) on the season.

The Bulldogs look to close out the season with a win as they travel to Aspen to take on the Skiers Saturday, March 6.

Moffat County girls basketball stays red-hot, picks up 44-point win over Roaring Fork

Prior to the tough Bulldog boys loss, Moffat County’s girls basketball team continued their winning ways with a 66-22 win over the visiting Roaring Fork Rams Tuesday night at MCHS.

The 44-point win marked the third straight win for the girls, and sixth overall in the last seven games. The team was led by junior Halle Hamilton’s 14 points. The win improves their record to 8-3 (3-1 3A WSL) on the season.

Senior Emaleigh Papierski started out on fire Tuesday night for the Bulldogs, as she scored all eight of her teams points through the first three minutes of the opening quarter. The rest of her teammates caught up though and spread out the attack as seven different players got on the score sheet in the win.

The game was the first one this season with the band present, which added energy to the already rambunctious student section at the far end of the gym.

With the band providing the soundtrack to the game, and an upbeat student section behind them, the Moffat County girls locked down on defense, holding the Rams to just six points, while exploding for 26 second-quarter points, taking a 42-11 lead at the half.

Holding a comfortable lead, the Bulldogs cruised to a 24-11 second-half advantage, capping off the 66-22 win. The third consecutive blowout for the Bulldogs, they are getting into a rhythm and hitting their stride as a team.

“Obviously they are fun to get, and we’re trying to really get a playoff spot. We’re really trying to play the best offense and defense that we can. We’re hoping for it but you never know,” sophomore Cayden King said.

The Bulldogs were led by junior Halle Hamilton’s 14 points Tuesday night. The win improves their record to 8-3 (3-1 3A WSL) on the season.

The Bulldogs look to continue the hot play Thursday on Senior Night at MCHS as they welcome the Basalt Longhorns.

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