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Second comeback falls short for Bears

Rifle senior Stuart Stapleton tries to stop a shot from Moffat County's Derek Duran. The Bears had a hard time stopping Duran, who scored 32 points in the Bulldogs' 70-64 win
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CRAIG ” The Rifle boys basketball team almost made it two comeback wins in as many nights, but fell short against Moffat County.

The Bulldogs went into the fourth quarter with a 54-38 lead. The Bears made a game of it in the final quarter, by coming within four points in the last minute, but the Bulldogs held off Rifle, 70-64. The near-comeback followed up Rifle scoring five unanswered points in the last 17 seconds to beat Steamboat Springs 48-47 Friday night.

Rifle coach Chris Lowther was proud of the way his team fought back.



“We let (Derek) Duran drive baseline too much early on,” he said. “At one point in the first quarter we were down 16-4 and Duran had eight of them.”

Duran finished the night with 32 points. No other Bulldog scored in double figures.



Both teams struggled to keep control of the ball in the game. They combined for 35 turnovers. The Bears had 20 of those.

The Moffat defense held Rifle to nine points in the first quarter on the way to a 16-9 lead.

In the final quarter the Bears put up 26 points, led by sophomore Scott Rust’s 10 points. Rust had a team-high 24 points in the game. Senior Matt Bugielski was the only other Bear in double-figures with 14 points.

Rust hit a two-pointer with 17 seconds left to bring the Bears within four points, 66-62, but Moffat’s Chance Buckner was left open underneath the basket on the other end. Buckner made his shot and was fouled. He completed the three-point play to ice the game for Moffat County.

The loss dropped Rifle to 2-5 in the WSL.

Cayla Maneotis, Moffat County’s 6-foot, 5-inch center scored 19 points and had six blocks Saturday in a 61-41 win against the Bears.

Rifle played on the perimeter in the first quarter and drove on the Bulldogs’ post players.

The Bulldogs led 14-10 in the first quarter, but opened up the lead to 33-21 in the second quarter. A 10-2 run in the third quarter sealed a win for the undefeated Bulldogs.

“We didn’t complete scoring plays,” Rifle coach Jack Smith said. “We can learn from Moffat because they complete their plays consistently.”

The Bears finished with eight points in the third quarter.

No Rifle player was in double digits with junior Kristin Guettler scoring a team-high eight points. The Bears are now 5-2 in WSL play and 8-7 overall.


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