Bowling through league

'We don't have the competition that we need in games'

The Moffat County girls basketball team was hard at work Wednesday throwing strikes, spares and gutter balls at a local bowling alley.

"Practice has been intense," senior Mari Katherine Rafto--poulos said. "We were given a break today from practice to do some bonding."

As promised after the Bull--dogs' 61-41 win against Rifle on Saturday, Moffat coach Craig Mortensen increased the level of intensity at practice this week.

"We don't have the competition that we need in games," Raftopoulos said. "Practice is where we are worked."

The statement sounds cocky, but the statistics back it up.

The closest a Western Slope League team has come to the 15-0 Bulldogs is 20 points. The league's second-place team, Glenwood Springs, trailed the Bulldogs 40-12 at halftime. A 27-point fourth quarter by the Demons made the 72-51 game look closer than it was.

"The second time around we need to stay focused and stay disciplined," Mortensen said. "We could still have a big game if Glenwood wins out and they only have one loss the next time we meet."

Moffat moved up to No. 4 in Class 4A this week in the Rocky Mountain News' rankings.

"We went to the Green River tournament with the hope there would be more competition," Mortensen said. "Unfortunately that wasn't the case."

The competition will surely come in the postseason, but Raftopoulos said that isn't a focus yet.

"We have to do well in every league game," she said. "The better we do, it will help with a good ranking (for the postseason)."

Mortensen said the final seven games of the regular season would be a rehearsal for tournament time.

"We'll work a lot on running what will be successful against better teams," he said. "There needs to be better execution."

One concern for the team is a lack of depth.

The team lost senior point guard Cortney Grandbouche to a knee injury. It was already without senior April Sanchez, who played on the team in the summer but didn't try out.

"Foul trouble can hurt us," Mortensen said. "We don't have a lot of depth."

The Bulldog varsity roster is seven deep.

"We need to have a good balance, so if we lose someone to foul trouble, we adjust," he said. "Each individual needs to work on improving on their own game."

If those improvements come, the other WSL teams will be in for some not-so-fun nights against Moffat County.

The Bulldogs will go for their 23rd consecutive WSL win at 6 p.m. Friday night against Palisade.

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

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