Moffat County hoops hang in to beat Roaring Fork
Teams prepare for Grand Valley
Carbondale — After Friday night, the coaches of Moffat County High School’s basketball teams have no doubt in their heads their players are ready for some big games Saturday.
The boys and girls varsity Bulldogs had a very successful night at the Roaring Fork High School gym, winning 69-48 and 57-49, respectively.
Leah Camilletti scored 12 of her game-high 24 points during a decisive third-quarter stretch for the Bulldogs against the Rams, who led by double figures for much of the first half before Moffat County rallied.
“They played pretty intense, and they definitely jumped out on us,” Moffat County coach Sam Mcleod said. “They made us have to work on the perimeter. They took away the inside game and they took away any kind of penetration. They were intense.”
That defensive intensity by Roaring Fork (3-8 overall, 2-4 Class 3A Western Slope League play) didn’t keep the Bulldogs (6-4, 4-1) from stepping up their defensive intensity at the beginning of the second half. Moffat County outscored Roaring Fork 23-5 in the third quarter, a spurt that included a 21-1 run that brought the Bulldogs back from a 26-16 deficit with under a minute to play before halftime.
Still, despite the loss, the Rams came away feeling positive about a performance against a team that’s contending for the league title.
“By far our best game, or at least our best half, of the year,” Roaring Fork’s Emily Fisher, who scored a team-high 20 points for the Rams, said of her team’s performance. “We showed so much heart out there.”
Granted, Roaring Fork took advantage of a poor first-quarter shooting performance from the Bulldogs, whose top inside shooter, sophomore Josey King, was stuck at home in Craig battling a flu virus. Because of that, Roaring Fork’s 2-3 zone gave Moffat County fits and paved the way for the Rams to take an 8-0 lead out of the gate. All of the Rams’ points in that stretch came from Fisher, who scored 11 of her team’s 13 points in the opening stanza.
But the Bulldogs slowly got back into it, cutting their deficit to 26-19 at halftime on a three-pointer from Camilletti near the halftime buzzer.
The Moffat County junior continued her scoring spurt in the third, scoring nine of the Bulldogs’ first 11 points of the third quarter as part of the run that put them up 37-27 with 3 minutes, two seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Moffat County got into foul trouble with their aggressive defensive play, however, giving the Rams chances to get back into the game. And they did, as a putback from Lily Ramos with 3:59 left cut Roaring Fork’s deficit to 43-40.
The Rams came no closer, though, as the Bulldogs outscored the rams 8-3 in the next two minutes to pull away, leading by as much as 54-43 before a four-point play from Roaring Fork’s Ashley Hall with 36.5 seconds helped keep the final score within single digits.
“If anything,” first-year Rams coach Chris Hall said, “this shows that we’re capable of playing at a much higher level.”
For Moffat County, Kayla Pinnt had 10 points and Morgan Lawton added 14, but the Bulldogs finished just 8-of-20 shooting from the free-throw line.
It was a second-half kind of night for MCHS, as the boys followed suit to add another victory to their undefeated streak in the conference.
Matthew Hamilton finished with a game-high 20 points to pace four Moffat County players in double figures as the Bulldogs (7-3, 5-0 3A WSL) pulled away from the Rams in the second half.
After Roaring Fork’s (7-4, 4-2) Ben Carpenter brought the score within 35-30 at halftime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, the Bulldogs outscored Roaring Fork 15-7 in the third quarter and were up 57-38 by the 5:09 mark of the fourth quarter.
Tyler Davis added 13 points, Dylan Kincade had 11 and Keenan Hildebrandt added 10 for Moffat County, which finished hitting 25-of-51 shots (49 percent) from the field. Brothers Denton and Dusty Taylor were a force to be reckoned with under the boards, added coach Eric Hamilton.
Moffat County continues league play at home Saturday against Grand Valley, and both coaches feel confident. A win over the Cardinals means the Bulldog boys will stand as the first-place team in 3A WSL.
“This is going to determine who the top dog is,” Eric Hamilton said.
Craig Daily Press sports reporter Andy Bockelman also contributed to this story.