The Moffat County High School girls basketball team showed the benefits of having a veteran squad Tuesday.
Moffat County, a favorite to return to the Class 4A final four, used that veteran leadership in a 46-34 victory against Fruita Monument.
Moffat County (4-0) returns all but two seniors from a team that reached the 4A state semifinals in March.
The Bulldogs have potent games inside and outside, as well as a strong transition game. On Tuesday, however, they showed they can win with their ability to run the half-court offense against the Wildcats.
Although the Bulldogs struggled with outside shooting, they made up for it by aggressively attacking the offensive boards.
The Bulldogs made a quick run at the end of the first quarter to turn a one-point lead into a 15-4 advantage entering the second quarter.
"We'd have been fine if we'd have played any basketball in the first quarter," Fruita Monument coach Jeff Miller said.
"We played well defensively, but we didn't rebound," Miller said. "We fixed that a little better in the second quarter."
While Moffat County hit 21 of 57 field-goal attempts, the Bulldogs were able to score with effective offensive rebounding and scoring on put-backs.
"We're trying to run our offense, running it consistently," said Moffat County junior guard Angie Charchalis, who led all scorers with 14 points.
"We can't run fast breaks all the time," she said.
"We have to really find our identity," Bulldogs coach Craig Mortensen said. "We've got to fit the pieces together. I think the pieces are there."
Mortensen expects to be able to go four deep on his bench this season.
"We've got a little more depth," Charchalis said of one of the differences in this season's team.
Five-foot-ten junior post Desirae Pearcey came off the bench to score eight points and pull down 10 rebounds.
Markie Workman had 11 points, seven rebounds and six steals before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.
Fruita Monument made a run to cut its deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter, but Moffat County was able to get its running game going to pull away.
Wildcat Jackie Franke scored a team-high 12 points and had 10 rebounds and three steals, and Mary McGee added 10 points and six rebounds.