CRAIG (2/16/13) – Defense and free throws: a formula that enabled Roaring Fork to outlast Moffat County, 54-51 to clinch the 3A Western Slope League title heading into the district playoffs.
Leading by 11 midway through the second period, the Rams (15-3, 14-1 WSL) nearly succumbed to the Bulldogs’ sophomore sensation, Tyler Davis when he poured in 11, third-quarter points, giving Moffat County (15-3, 12-3) a 36-35 lead. But six straight free throws by Dakotah Grett in the final minute, and a key defensive switch on Davis by Israel Leyva on the last play of the game proved decisive in the victory.
A balanced scoring attack had the Rams cruising 19-8 with 3:51 left in the second quarter until Moffat scored the final nine points to draw within two by halftime.
The Rams opened the second half with a 9-4 run, keyed by a pair of jumpers from the free throw line by Tanner Nieslanik to lead 28-21. Davis, who tallied just 3 points in the first half scored the Bulldogs’ first nine points in the quarter, driving them to their first lead since the opening minute of the game. Moffat extended their margin to 36-31 with a minute left before Nieslanik made two free throws and Trae Moxley hit a baseline jumper to draw with one
A Bulldog putback and a trey by Davis put Moffat up, 41-35 in the opening moments of the fourth quarter, but Nieslanik hit another jump shot in the lane, and Grett and Ben Carpenter burried three-pointers to tie the score at the 4:15 mark.
With 3:07 left, Moxley missed a chance to give the Rams the lead, but made up for it a minute later. Dwayne Yin, in the game for an injured Nieslanik, secured an offensive rebound and fed Moxley for the go-ahead basket, 47-45 with 2:12 to go.
Four free throws by Grett kept the Bulldogs at bay until a trey by Joe Camilletti cut the lead to one, 52-51 with 22 seconds remaining. Grett was fouled again and made it 6-straight from the line for the final 3-point margin. But Davis had one last opportunity when his defender was picked off, giving him a look at a tying 3-pointer. Leyva quickly switched from his man, getting a hand up that caused Davis’ shot to fall short.
Moxley led the Rams with 15 points and 14 rebounds, with Grett scoring 14, and Nieslanik 13. Davis had 19 for the Bulldogs with Camilletti adding 15.
Had Moffat County won, it would have created a three-way tie with Aspen (15-3, 13-2), who handed the Rams their only league loss of the season.
MOFFAT COUNTY 65, LADY RAMS 44
A sizzling third quarter by Moffat County’s Lisa Camilletti where she scored 16 points, hitting 4-of-4 three-pointers ignited a 27-12 explosion that keyed a 65-44 win over the Lady Rans.
Roaring Fork (10-8, 10-5) had cut a 15-point second quarter Bulldog lead to ten, 28-18 at the half, then scored the first two baskets of the third period to pull within six before Camilletti scored the last ten points in a 14-0 run that sealed the outcome.
The Bulldogs (14-3, 14-1), who had already clinched the Western Slope League crown, avenged their only league loss, a 51-41 defeat in Carbondale, and were led by Camilletti’s 25 points on 5-of-6 from downtown. Kori Finneman added 16 for MCHS, with Makayla Camilletti scoring 12. Hattie Gianietti led the Rams with 12, Megan Gianinetti and Maddie Nieslanik each tallying seven.