Varsity team romps Sailors

Playing at home has it's advantage.

Surrounded by the friendly confines of the Moffat County High School gym, the Bulldogs varsity girls team used that advantage Thursday to route the Steamboat Springs Sailors, 60-32.

The Bulldogs improved to 14-3 on the season and 5-1 in league play while the Sailors dropped to 8-10 on the year and 2-5 in conference.

The Bulldogs were ready for the challenge of facing their conference rival.

"We knew that the second time we played them wasn't going to be easy," said senior Michelle Donnel, who played her last regular season home game. "We felt with the injured players that Steamboat Springs had, we could come out and show them that we were ready to play."

According to Sailors coach Bruce Alston, his players had trouble handling the Bulldogs pressure defense.

"We turned the ball over a little bit and that is a tribute to Craig's defense," said Alston. "They make you turn it over. We have to do a better job with our composure."

In the first eight minutes of play, the Bulldogs outscored the Sailors, 19-9. The second quarter evened out with Moffat County posting 11 points and Steamboat Springs 10 points.

The Bulldogs took a 30-19 lead into halftime.

"We were getting all kinds of good looks and we were just missing them," said Bulldogs coach Craig Mortensen. "The kids were doing what they needed to do and it was just a matter of time. The thing about the girls on the team ... if they miss they will go after it."

In the second half, the Bulldogs shifted into high gear and rumbled to a 41-28 lead with one quarter to play.

In the final quarter, MCHS went on a 13-1 run to start the quarter and built a 54-29 lead to put the game away.

"They were missing a couple of girls and that would have helped them," said Mortensen. "Our conditioning was a lot better tonight than the first time we played them. We were just in better shape than they were."

Junior guard Emily Mortensen poured in 17 points for the Bulldogs and junior Stacy Ponikvar finished with 11 points.

"It was great to see Stacy end up in double figures," said coach Mortensen. "She works hard underneath for us."

In the earlier games, the junior varsity rolled to an easy 68-33 victory over the Sailors.

Sophomore Charlotte Steele led the way with 13 points and freshman Laurel Mortensen and junior Jen Havrilla both finished with 12 pionts.

"We finished the home season with a perfect record," said junior varsity coach Mike LeWarne. "We clinched at least a tie for first place in the conference."

In the freshmen game, the Bulldogs edged the Sailors by one point, 35-34.

Freshman Danielle Brown had game high honors with 13 points.

"The difference in the game was the way we played defense," said coach Jim Loughran. "The girls played hard and I am pleased with how they played."

The varsity team returns to action at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on the road against the Delta Panthers.

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