The Coal Ridge girls and boys managed a split in Saturday afternoon’s basketball contests against the visiting Moffat County Bulldogs.
The girls led off the matinee action at Peach Valley by coming up on the short end of a 51-47 score. The boys saved the day for the Titans by holding off a hard-charging Moffat County quintet in the second half to earn an important 58-51 4A Western Slope League victory.
The boys’ game started off looking like an afternoon walk in the park for Coach Paul Harvey and his Titans, but it turned into what basketball announcer Dick Vitale likes to call white-knuckle time in the game’s final half of play.
The Titans cruised to early leads of 18-6 after one period and 32-20 at the half to give the appearance that this game would look nothing like their thrilling 60-59 overtime win the night before at Summit.
Moffat County had other ideas, though.
“They changed defenses on us there to start the second half, and we were a little slow to adjust to things,” Harvey said. “We have the ability to go on scoring spurts, and that one at the end of the third quarter gave us some confidence and much needed momentum back.”
After watching his team go stone-cold for almost the entire third period, scoring just two points with 1:15 to go, and Moffat County taking a 35-34 lead, he looked on as junior guard Clay Cornejo hit a 3-pointer, which was followed by a triple from fellow junior Lochlan Wade to give the home team a pulse. A drive to the basket and a score by senior James Webber put Coal Ridge back in control of the game at 42-37 entering the fourth period.
Moffat County refused to go quietly, keeping things close throughout the final period, but Wade scored again inside and began to assert himself on the boards. Plenty of help came in the form of another long ball from Cornejo, and baskets from Webber, sophomore Ben Simons, and a steal and layup from senior Andres Mendoza to put the game on ice.
Balanced scoring for the Titans came by the way of 14 points each from Webber and Wade. Cornejo had 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Mendoza chipped in with 10 points.
The Titans now sport a record of 10-7 overall and 6-3 in league play.
For the Titan girls, things looked good in the second half of play after trailing by margins of 11-10 and 22-18 in the game’s first 16 minutes. Coal Ridge came out of the locker room and put together a solid third period by outscoring Moffat County 20-11 to take a 38-33 lead into the final quarter of play.
In the third period, junior guard Brook Richards opened the scoring with a corner 3-pointer, and senior guard Jackie Camunez scored on a drive to the basket to give the Titans a lead of 23-22. Camunez then got a steal and a layup to put the game’s momentum solidly on the side of Coal Ridge. Reserve junior post Averie Cribari hit a short bank shot and junior Emerson Harvey notched a 3-pointer to close out the big third period for the Titans.
Moffat County had an answer for the dominant period from the Titans, and it came in the form of senior forward Cayden King. Time and again during the course of the contest, it was her who came up with big buckets for the Bulldogs. Staying true to form in the fourth period, she scored twice in the lane, and then senior Jadence Vasquez hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 39-all.
Senior Aceleigh Porter and Camunez each netted a 3-pointer to keep Coal Ridge running stride for stride with Moffat County, but it was King who sealed the win for the Bulldogs with a late basket and clinching free throws to give her team the conference win.
The Titans, coming off a narrow 37-35 loss the previous night at Summit, were without the services of starting guard Riley Cheney who suffered a knee injury in the Friday loss.
“Last night may have taken a little bit out of the kids,” said Coal Ridge coach Clyde Morgan. “But we just needed to be a little more aggressive on the defensive end today.”
Camunez topped the scoring ledger for the Titans with 17 points, tying Moffat’s King for game scoring honors. Richards and Porter each had six points for Coal Ridge with Cribari and Mikayla Cheney helping out with five and four points, respectively.
The Coal Ridge girls now stand at 12-6 overall and 4-4 in 4A WSL play.
Next up for both the Coal Ridge boys and girls will be a Tuesday trip for a nonleague affair at Grand Junction High School to face the Tigers.
Glenwood teams split in OT at Durango
The Glenwood Springs boys and girls basketball teams were on the road at Durango on Saturday afternoon, where the boys came away with a 54-49 overtime win and girls lost 40-35, also in overtime, in a battle of two top-10 teams in Colorado’s 5A ranks.
The girls showdown between the fourth-ranked Durango Demons and the ninth-ranked Glenwood Demons saw the Glenwood team grab a slim 17-15 advantage at halftime, followed by a one-point advantage in the third for Glenwood before Durango erased the three-point lead in the fourth.
The extra 5 minutes went in favor of the home team, 10-5, as the Glenwood girls fall to 12-6 overall and remain undefeated so far in the 5A Western Slope League at 2-0.
In the boys game, Durango led 28-25 at halftime, before the visiting Glenwood Demons chipped away in the third, taking a 29-28 lead that was quickly relinquished to the home team. Durango held a 38-33 advantage at the end of the third, but a pair of buckets from Glenwood’s Edwin Olave and Erick Cordero and some made free throws pulled Glenwood to within two, 39-37.
By the 4-minute mark, Glenwood had the score knotted at 41 apiece, leading to a flurry of late-game lead changes and another tie, 45-45, at the end of regulation.
Glenwood senior Aiden Peters nailed a 3-pointer to give Glenwood the advantage with under 2 minutes to play in the extra. Glenwood held the lead despite Durango hitting a 3-pointer of its own to cut the lead to one inside a minute. Glenwood was true from the stripe in the closing seconds to claim the five-point win.
Next up, the Glenwood teams are at home Tuesday against league foe Palisade; girls at 5:30 p.m. and the boys at 7.
Other weekend scores
Friday: Boys – Cedaredge 68, Roaring Fork 52; Basalt 57, Rifle 21. Girls – Grand Valley 75, Aspen 11; Cedaredge 43, Roaring Fork 31.
Saturday: Boys – Grand Valley 60, Gunnison 54; Roaring Fork 74, Meeker 44. Girls – Grand Valley 46, Gunnison 22; Roaring Fork 57, Meeker 48.
Post Independent reporter John Stroud contributed to this report.