Moffat County boys close hoops season with senior night victory

The Moffat County boys basketball team gathers following a win over Rifle on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

With multiple games this season being decided by thin margins, there’s been some frustrating scores for the Moffat County boys basketball team. Yet, a victorious finale for the Bulldogs made all the difference for morale.

Moffat County closed its season Saturday, Feb. 18, with a 62-49 win over Rifle to finish with a 7-16 record. After beating the Bears 74-52 in late January, the Dogs were set to do it again despite being only one notch higher than 1-22 Rifle in the 4A Western Slope League rankings.

Starting the game were the five upperclassmen — Jonny Lopez, Cort Murphy, Boden Reidhead, Austin Robinson and Marcos Romero — who were honored before the match as part of senior night.

Though Rifle got on the board with a few early buckets, MoCo turned it around and stayed in front for the rest of the game. Junior Bryant Carlson led the Bulldogs in scoring with 16 points, while Murphy added nine points and 15 rebounds.

In his only season playing with the varsity team, Robinson had his strongest game yet, hitting two three-pointers as part of eight total points, as well as adding 11 rebounds.

“It was probably the funnest game of the year,” Robinson said. “They’ve gotten better from last time we played.”

Lopez, who also put up eight points, said it was a relief to maintain a lead and keep it after multiple games where Moffat County could have won but struggled in the final moments.

“We had a lot of close games and haven’t been able to close them out, but it was great to get a win tonight,” he said.

Coach Mark Carlson was pleased with the team’s play and put in his full bench.

“I was glad we got everybody in the game and almost everybody scored,” the coach said. “We sent these guys out on the right note. I was really excited when I put the sophomores in with the juniors because they actually built up that lead and hit some big shots in the first half. They looked like they’ve been playing varsity all year, so that’s pretty awesome to see.”

Coach Carlson said the team’s seniors were a positive example for the group in not letting adversity define them.

“They’re one of the hardest-working groups — they work continuously, they don’t give up and they give 150%. Up 20, down 20, no matter what, they always play their hearts out,” he said. “We’re gonna miss that energy and effort from those guys next year. I love all those guys and wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

Lopez said he’ll especially miss competing with his fellow teammates.

“They’re like my family,” he said.

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