It wasn't pretty at times but the Moffat County High School girls basketball team continued doing what it has for years in the Western Slope Conference -- win games.
"They continue to recognize what we have to do to win," said coach Craig Mortensen. "We gave up 33 points to one player against Palisade and couldn't score against Delta but we still got the Ws so that's what matters."
While Krysten Hayes dropped in 33 points for Palisade, Moffat County junior Brandie Telfer countered with 36 points.
"Brandie couldn't be scoring like she is without good looks from her teammates," Mortensen said. "Nobody has really had an answer to her lately and the team has recognized that."
Moffat County had a lead of 16 points in the second half of the Palisade game but the home-team Bulldogs fought back to get within three in the fourth quarter. The Blue and White held them off to win 60-54.
In the Delta game, shots weren't dropping for Moffat County, but they countered a bad-shooting night with a good defensive night. They held the Panthers to 11 points in the first half. Although they only scored 12 points themselves in the first 16 minutes, Mortensen said his team had the advantage going into the locker room.
"If you're Delta you knew we were going to find a way to score in the second half," Mortensen said. "We had missed some easy shots and our defense had really shut them down."
The Bulldogs came out and performed on both sides of the court in the second half, opening it up in the third quarter to outscore the Panthers 18-8. The final score was 45-30, improving the Bulldogs to 7-2 and 2-0 in the conference.
"While Brandie is getting the big numbers, the other girls are contributing in other important aspects," he said. "We're handling the ball well, getting double-figure averages in rebounds and pressuring well on defense, so it is a big team effort."
In a league where the Bulldogs were one of the few teams to graduate key seniors (losing five), the Bulldogs appear to be the more experienced ones so far. It will be the same this weekend when the Bulldogs face two teams who collectively graduated fewer seniors, three, than Moffat County did last year.
Glenwood Springs (4-4, 1-0) comes to town Friday for a 6 p.m. game and then the Blue and White take the trip 90 miles south to face the consistently competitive Rifle Bears (5-3, 1-0).
"Brandie's ability is going to start getting noticed," Mortensen said of the junior who is averaging 28.5 points in the last four games. "So we'll be working against defenses where she is double teamed a lot this week."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org