CRAIG (1/19/18) – Surely Brent Cook would cool off during halftime after making six consecutive three-pointers and scoring all but three of Moffat County’s first-half points against the visiting Rifle Bears in a non-league contest Friday.
But Cook recovered from tweaking his knee just before intermission as the Bears closed to within three and finally a pair of misses beyond the arc early in the third to make his final four treys, leading the Bulldogs to a 55-44 win, in which the senior scored 40 points.
The Rifle girls benefitted from 6-1 Brook Gumber’s absence in the paint, continually getting to the line and pulling away from a determined Lady Bulldog squad in the second half for a 45-37 win, the Bears’ ninth straight.
MOFFAT COUNTY BOYS 55, RIFLE 44
Cook scored 8 of Moffat’s 11-6 first quarter lead, then all sixteen of the Bulldog points in the second, but after he went down with a knee injury on an awkward turnover, Rifle came back from 8 points down to close within 27-24 at halftime.
Moffat was 7-of-9 beyond the arc in the first half, but the Bulldogs missed their first three deep shots to open the third quarter and Rifle rode Tido Ruiz’ back-to-back treys to an 8 point lead of its own, 36-28 with 3:10 left in the period.
However Cook regained his touch, hitting his seventh 3-pointer, then drove and dished to teammate Jerod Chacon for a trey and 6-3 Colby Beaver, who laid in a tying basket with 50 seconds to play. Rifles Blake Swasey rebounded a missed triple by the Bears and scored twenty seconds later for a 40-38 Bear lead going into the final quarter.
That was the final hurrah for the Bears, who had ended a nine-game losing streak with an overtime win over Summit the night before. Cook began the fourth hitting another 3-pointer, putting Moffat up 41-40, and following a Bear turnover, drove to the basket, completing a 3-point play.
Rifle, which had just ten turnovers through the first three periods, had a 10-second violation against the Bulldogs’ zone press, one of seven miscues in the final quarter, and Cook followed with another long-distance bomb , giving him Moffat’s first nine points and a 47-40 lead.
Rifle’s turnover parade continued as Cook hit his tenth 3-pointer in twelve tries and the Bulldogs’ extended their run to 13-0 before Swasey broke the spell with 1:50 left in the game. By that time, Moffat (7-4) had accumulated an insurmountable 53-40 lead.
Joel Lopez, whose 19 points through three quarters helped the Bears’ survive Cook’s first-half barrage, and keyed a 16-point swing, was held scoreless in the final frame as the Bears fell to 2-and-12 on the season. Swasey and Ruiz had 8 apiece for the Bears.
RIFLE GIRLS 45, MOFFAT COUNTY 37
Though the Bears never trailed after Elly Walters’ 3-point play overcame an early 2-0 Bulldog lead in the game’s opening moments, Rifle was unable to put together a run exceeding two scores throughout the game.
But the Bears made 9-of-12 from the line in the first half and when Katy Manuppella sank Rifle’s first 3-pointer and Taylor Davis put back a miss with five seconds to go in the second quarter, the Bears led 22-12 at intermission.
With Walters assisting on two layups by Karly Manuppella and matching her first half total of one basket, the Bears reached their largest lead of twelve, 28-16 at the 4:20 mark. Walters’ three-point play with a minute left had Rifle comfortably ahead, 33-22, going to the fourth quarter.
Jana Camilletti sank Moffat’s second three of the game to open the final period, matching her scoring total through the first 24-minutes and led a 17-4 quarter for the Bulldogs. However, Rifle, led by Walters’ 4-for-4 free throw performance, held off Camilletti’s 11-point surge as the Bears doubled Moffat County’s trips to the line, making 16-of-22 for the game.
Walters had 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists and was ably supported by Masi Smith, with 11 points and five boards. Karly Manuppella scored 8 and sister Katy had 5 for the Bears.
Camillletti’s final quarter eruption gave her 14 to lead the Bulldogs (8-3), whose four-game win skein was halted.