The Moffat County student section started chanting "this game's over" only three minutes into the game of their girls basketball team against Palisade. Moffat was ahead, 8-0, at that point, and its eventual 19-3 first quarter lead was too much for Palisade in a 63-36 win.
"We were ready for the game," said Moffat County sophomore Angie Charchalis, who led all scorers with 18 points. "Last time, we didn't come out strong against them, so we really wanted to this time."
Moffat County had five days to practice and prepare for Saturday night's game against Palisade. Coach Craig Mortensen said he was pleased with the way his team came out defensively.
Moffat, which came in as the No. 1 seed in its region, didn't allow Palisade to put up a shot on offense during its first seven possessions. Palisade had the ball stolen all seven times down the court.
"(Palisade's) offense is a lot of dribble penetration and shoot," Mortensen said. "Our girls jumped to stop the dribbler and created turnovers."
Although Moffat didn't know who its opponent would be until Palisade's win against Conifer on Friday night, Palisade was a familiar foe. The Bulldog teams met up with each other two times in the league season.
Moffat County won both meetings, 57-36 and 66-33, during the regular season. It looked like the third time would be more lopsided, but foul trouble for Moffat was the equalizer.
Both post players for Moffat picked up three fouls in the second quarter. It was the first time junior Markie Workman and Cayla Maneotis sat on the bench with foul trouble together.
"We had to make that adjustment for the first time this season," Mortensen said.
Palisade stopped the bleeding in the second quarter as both teams scored 11 points.
Foul trouble kept Workman out most of the second half and after scoring eight points in the first half, Maneotis was held to eight points.
"Our defense did a good job keeping pressure on the ball when we didn't have our Cayla and Markie," Mortensen said.
Palisade post players Abby Diers and Kaity Edmiston led their team with 11 and 13 points respectively.
At the end of the game the crowd chanted "Twenty-three and oh" to signify Moffat's record. Now the Bulldogs move on to play Montrose in the Sweet 16 on Friday.
The Indians defeated Sum--mit 56-50 in Craig in the first game of the sub-region Saturday night.
"Montrose is a disciplined and fundamental team," Mor--tensen said.
"We'll have to play smart and play our game."
In the other games in the Tracy Hill Region, No. 3 Glenwood Springs beat No. 6 Longmont, 61-53, and No. 2 Harrison beat No. 10 Niwot, 54-50.
Moffat County will play Montrose at 6 p.m. Friday at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.