Needing a win to stay in the 3A state playoff battle, what was once a promising season came to a halt on Tuesday night on Senior Night for the Moffat County Bulldogs.
While there is still one game remaining, a win will keep the Bulldogs strong in the state playoff picture. In contrast, Moffat County found itself on the brink of controversy late Tuesday, falling to visiting Roaring Fork Rams 52-51.
The Bulldogs had control of the ball in final possession of the game, running the game to try and see the bucket well, but time ran out on Tuesday with junior Ryan Peck sitting out of bounds, having tried to save the ball by throwing it away from a Roaring Fork player. As the final bell rings, the Bulldog argues that there should be a second left on the clock, but officials dismiss Moffat County’s argument, ending the game in favor of the visiting Rams, sparking heartbreak and frustration for the Bulldogs.
Before the match, the team’s four seniors – Wesley Counts, Tanner Etzler, Chris Maneotis and Hector Salazar – were honored with their families in a special pre-match ceremony. The ceremony also included a speech written by head coach Steve Maneotis, thanking four seniors for their impact on the program.
It was a great moment for senior Tanner Etzler, who was introduced to his mother.
“It was incredible because of the senior night, the big night, the last home game. “It felt great he was watching me and he was out with me too,” said Etzler.
After the action begins, the Bulldogs find themselves in a tough battle with the Rams, leading to an intense last minute.
The Bulldogs found themselves 52-46 behind with 35.6 seconds remaining, before missed free throws and the clutch bucket brought the game together. The MCHS bench explodes after a missed free throw triggers the time-limit for the Rams with 6.7 seconds remaining.
With one last possession the Bulldog cannot see the bucket very well, resulting in a loss.
Moffat County had to run the final game with the Counts and Maneotis on the bench after a foul, something that made their lives more difficult.
“It’s not a good feeling when you are a senior and you have a foul and two of them sit on the sidelines at the end of the game,” said Steve Maneotis.
Hard-fought losses are heartbreaking for many, especially seniors with players on the team looking emotional after the game. That extends to head coach Steve Maneotis, who is very gloomy after the game.
“Big, tough for all of us, all year long we felt we deserved a playoff place and we haven’t played to that level. So, losing weight, “said Maneotis.
The Bulldogs are looking to get back on track in their final game of the season, on March 6, when they travel to Aspen to face Aspen High School Skiers.
On the scoring front, the team is led by senior Wesley Counts with 13 points. The defeat dropped the team’s record to 6-6 (2-3 3A WSL) that season.
The Bulldogs are looking to finish off the season with a win when they travel to Aspen to face the Skiers on Saturday, March 6.
Moffat County women’s basketball remained on fire, picking up a 44-point win over Roaring Fork
Prior to the Bulldog boys’ tough defeat, the Moffat County women’s basketball team continued their winning path with a 66-22 win over visiting Roaring Fork Rams Tuesday night at MCHS.
The 44-point win marks the third successive win for the women, and sixth overall in the last seven games. The team is led by 14 points junior Halle Hamilton. The win raised their record to 8-3 (3-1 3A WSL) in that season.
Senior Emaleigh Papierski got off to a hot start Tuesday night for the Bulldogs, as he scored his side’s eight points through the opening three minutes of the opening quarter. The rest of his team-mates caught up and spread attacks as seven different players scored in the win.
The match was the first of the season with a band present, which added energy to the already noisy student section at the far end of the gym.
With the band providing the soundtrack for the game, and an upbeat student section behind them, the Moffat County girls locked in the defense, holding the Rams for just six points, while exploding for 26 points the second quarter, leading 42-11. in half.
Holding a comfortable lead, the Bulldogs went on to a 24-11 second half lead, capping a 66-22 win. A third straight outing for the Bulldogs, they got their rhythm and hit their stride as a team.
“Obviously they’re fun to get, and we’re trying to really get a playoff spot. We really try to play the best attack and defense we can. We expect it but you never know, ”said sophomore Cayden King.
The Bulldogs were led by 14-point junior Halle Hamilton late Tuesday. The win raised their record to 8-3 (3-1 3A WSL) in that season.
The Bulldogs are looking to continue Thursday’s hot game on Senior’s Night at MCHS when they welcome Basalt Longhorns.
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