Roaring Fork downs Bulldogs, 54-51 |

Roaring Fork downs Bulldogs, 54-51

Nate Waggenspack
Craig Daily Press
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Tanner Nieslanik stares down Moffat County defender Matt Hamilton in Craig Saturday night. The Rams hit free throws down the stretch to hold off Moffat, 54-51.

CRAIG, Colorado – Roaring Fork High School guard Dakotah Grett wouldn’t allow his team to lose Saturday night.

Grett sunk six consecutive foul shots in the final minute of the a 54-51 win at the Moffat County High School gym. In the process, he preserved Roaring Fork’s sole possession of the Class 3A Western Slope League lead.

In a back-and-forth game between two of the league’s heavyweights, Roaring Fork came away on top when Moffat County sophomore Tyler Davis’ desperation 3-point attempt from the corner fell short as time expired.

“We had a bad first quarter and then I thought we played really solid for three quarters,” Moffat County coach Eric Hamilton said. “They just hit some shots, they were 100 percent from the line at the end. That point guard stood up and made some free throws.

“It was a great game to play in. we just want to be on top of them.”

In December, the Rams pulled off a big comeback to win, 57-54, in Carbondale. This time, the game was more even throughout, but the result was the same.

Roaring Fork handled Moffat County’s press well, taking a 12-4 lead after one quarter on a double-pump 3-pointer from Grett as time expired. The Bulldogs would respond in the second, going on a 9-0 run into halftime after Tanner Nieslanik gave the Rams a 19-8 lead.

In the third quarter, Moffat seized the lead on the strength of a switch to zone defense, which momentarily stumped the Rams. The Bulldogs went into the fourth ahead, 36-35, but Roaring Fork coach Larry Williams told his players to get back to their game plan.

“We stopped doing some of the things we had been doing, such as getting back in transition, focusing on boxing out,” he said. “They made a heck of a run, and we just buckled down a little bit.”

Both teams played a strong fourth quarter, but Roaring Fork regained the lead and forced Moffat County to start fouling and sending them to the free throw line. Eventually, Grett simply held onto the ball to make sure it was him taking the pressure, and he didn’t buckle.

“Thank goodness Dakotah makes his free throws,” Williams said.

A 3-pointer from Joe Camilletti gave Moffat County a final chance to tie with 13 seconds left, but Davis’ prayer from the corner was well short.

The loss dropped Moffat County into third in the WSL at 12-3 and was the Bulldogs’ first at home this year, while Roaring Fork improved to 14-1 (15-3 overall. Both teams have one more game before the district tournament in Palisade on March 1 and 2.

Trae Moxley scored 15 points with 14 rebounds and Grett added 14 points and five assists for the Rams. Davis scored a game-high 16 points to pace the Bulldogs.

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