Skyline sends Bulldogs off into sunset

LONGMONT -- Coach Craig Mortensen was more of a teacher than a coach in his team's last game.

Even down to the last timeout, Moffat County High School girls basketball coach used every second he had to teach his young team.

"There was a lot to learn from this game," Mortensen said after the Bulldogs were dominated by Skyline, 66-33. "We did some talking during the timeouts."

Every timeout called, the Bulldogs were always the last ones back on the court. The referees often had to remind the Moffat County bench that their allotted time was up.

"The girls were frustrated because they couldn't get anything done outside," Mortensen said. "Most the time we were going over different ways to get open on offense."

The game was never close as the Falcons jumped out to an 11-4 lead and built on it the rest of the way.

Skyline's pressure from its 2-3 zone kept the Moffat County guards passing the ball around the perimeter, as if it was a game of keep away, most of the game. Drives to the basket and passes to the post were few and far between.

"They had good guards everywhere," senior Ashlee Hafey said. "I've faced one or two good guards in practice the last couple of years, but not that many at once."

On the offensive side, the Falcons had little problem finding their own lane to the basket.

"We would play them close and they would drive past us," Hafey said. "If we stepped back they would drill a shot. I don't know what we could have done."

The Falcons only had five players score but it was all they needed. All but three of their points came from their four senior guards. Tiffani Schmidt led the Falcons with 21, Tasha Harris had 17 points, Melissa Harris had 16 and Jessica Harris had nine points.

Junior Brandie Telfer was the only Bulldog in double figures with 14 points.

"I hope that the returning girls saw that they had some hard work to put in this summer to get back to a state-competitive level," Mortensen said. "Everybody on the team from our best returning player to the ones who didn't play much need improvement."

Mortensen admired the efforts of the two players who won't return, seniors Stephanie Brown and Ashlee Hafey.

"Those two have gone through the school of hard knocks the last four years for this program," Mortensen said. "It says a lot about them to wait three years to get their chance on varsity and then go after it like they did."

Next year the Bulldogs will return with an experienced team from a 16-7 season. With three, sometimes four returning starters back, Mortensen said the team would have a different feel in

2004-05.

"We were pretty much the only team to not have most of our starters back from last year in the league," he said. "To only have two players with varsity experience on the team this year and get 16 wins is something I didn't think would happen."

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 ext. 211 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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