When Craig Mortensen started his coaching career, he took over a program that hadn't won a game in four years. Needless to say, his teams took some bumps early on.
That experience is replayed in the Moffat County coach's mind nearly every time his team blows out an opponent like it did in an 82-26 victory Saturday against Delta.
"I feel for the coach, because you can see he's working hard and setting things up, but they don't happen right," Mortensen said. "When you're down like that you draw up a play and the ball goes off your player's knee."
The day after a slow start in a 66-33 win against Palisade, Moffat County left no doubts early.
Delta had more airballs than baskets in the first quarter and trailed 21-4 after the quarter.
In the first quarter the Bulldogs were more physical than the Panthers, out-rebounding them 15-4. In the second quarter, Mortensen put in an all-guard lineup for two minutes to outpace Delta.
"Our defensive pressure created a lot for us tonight," Mortensen said. "Eventually our offense will warm up but defense is what gets us the lead."
Junior Ashleigh Mann and sophomore Jorgiea Raftopou--los are the interchangeable sixth (wo)man for the Bulldogs. They each scored six points and provided defensive pressure from the perimeter.
"We come in to help push the ball and play good defense," Raftopoulos said. "It's a different look when it's all guards because all we do is cut to the basket over and over. There's not as much looking into the post."
The two starting sophomores for the Bulldogs stole the scoring show Saturday. Guard Angie Charchalis had four 3-pointers and numerous lay ups off of steals for 22 points. Forward Markie Workman muscled her way to 20 points down low.
Mortensen kept his primary players in the game two minutes into the fourth quarter. He sent out the understudies for the final six minutes of the game.
Freshman Ariel Sanchez had four points, and sophomore Desirae Pearcey had two points off the bench.
"It's fun to sit and watch after playing hard," Mann said. "We get to support the girls who usually support us."
Other scorers for the Bulldogs were senior Mari Kath--erine Raftopoulos with nine points, senior Jessica Uecker with seven points and junior Cayla Maneotis with six.
Delta had nine players contribute to the score with two leading the team with four points.
The win improved the Bull--dogs' record to 9-0 in the West--ern Slope League and 17-0 overall. Delta is 2-6 and 6-9.
Steamboat Springs comes to town Friday.
"We won't prepare much for Steamboat except that we'll work on things to make us a better team," Mortensen said.
"One aspect that needs some work is our set offense. We're not scoring as much off of that as I'd like to see."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or email@example.com.