Moffat County boys power through double OT as Bulldog varsity basketball sweeps Basalt | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County boys power through double OT as Bulldog varsity basketball sweeps Basalt

Moffat County High School's Cale Scranton, right, and Landen Najera get rolling against Basalt. MCHS boys won against the Longhorns in double overtime.

For a team that’s starting to build a reputation for longevity, Moffat County High School boys hoops got the chance to prove it Saturday in Basalt with their lengthiest game yet.

MCHS boys outlasted the Longhorns on the road with a 72-69 win, complete with two rounds of overtime.

The Bulldogs’ tendencies for a shaky opening half didn’t go away, but the added liability of being down a man in the first two periods was part of it this time.

Brent Cook was benched by rule for the first half due to a technical foul that got him tossed the night before against Coal Ridge in the third quarter of the Dogs’ 60-46 loss to the Titans.

Perhaps that added fuel to the fire when he was finally allowed back in for the second half, adding 30 points on the day as fortune turned in Moffat County’s favor.

A 52-39 tally at the end of the third quarter led to the Dogs doing everything they could to catch up, surpassing Basalt for the first time late in the fourth as Cook tied it at 57 with a pair of free throws and Cale Scranton nailed a layup to take the lead.

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The Longhorns added two from the line, but neither side could move from there, sending it to extra minutes at 59-all.

Both teams were only able to add five points in the first round of OT to make it 64-64, but the Bulldogs caught a break as Justin Henderson fouled out for the Longhorns.

The afternoon came down to the last eight seconds, as Cook hit a three-pointer from the corner for the final score, while a travel call against Basalt gave it back to the Dogs.

Defensive efforts by Tristen Walls, Jerod Chacon and Kasen Brennise and outside shooting by Cook and Torin Reed were all part of an excellent all-around team game, said coach Eric Hamilton.

“Every guy that played made huge contributions,” he said. “Super team game. Our whole game plan was to get a solid lead and just build on it. Well, that didn’t work, but they hung in there.”

The W is the first for 3A Western Slope League credit this season for MCHS boys, putting them at 8-7 overall to surpass their records for the past two years. Moffat County boys’ most recent WSL win was against Olathe in February 2017.

While the boys game was electric, the girls game that preceded it wasn’t much to get excited about, at least for the home crowd.

Granted, Basalt girls enjoyed a 10-7 lead to finish the first quarter, but Lady Bulldogs breezed past them from there for the 46-28 win, their fifth against 3A WSL teams.

Brooke Gumber led in points with 14, followed by Jana Camilletti, whose 12 points all came from the perimeter.

“Couldn’t make a thing in the first half,” coach Kenley Nebeker said. “Girls battled through, created their own energy in a pretty dead gym. Proud of their effort this week.”

After two weeks of traveling, MCHS squads will be at home Feb. 9 and 10 against Olathe and Gunnison, respectively, with Senior Night preceding their games against the Pirates.

While traditionally a postseason rival for Lady Bulldogs, 4-11 Olathe comes up short against 12-3 MCHS girls, who will likely see a bigger challenge from 7-8 Gunnison, who battled it out in losses in the past weekend against Delta and Cedaredge, Lady Dogs’ biggest contenders for the league title.

Olathe will be a measuring stick for boys, who have yet to lose to the Pirates since joining the 3A division in 2012. However, at 8-7, Olathe boys have compiled as many wins this season as they have between 2012 and spring 2017. Alternately, the Cowboys are 2-12, getting a league win Saturday against Cedaredge.

“Olathe will be the real deal, so we’ve got a huge week of practice in front of us, and Gunnison we don’t want to take too lightly. They’re pretty physical,” Hamilton said.