Bulldogs getting a head start

The Moffat County High School girls basketball team didn't miss a beat in its first tournament of the summer.

The Bulldogs finished 4-1. Their only loss was against a combined team of Vernal, Utah and Wasatch, Utah players.

"It took an all-star team of players from Eastern Utah to beat us," coach Matt Ray said. "It was good for the girls, because they'd been winning games by 30 points."

The summer season has started for the boys and girls basketball teams. The girls hosted their first tournament and will travel to four more tournaments in the month of June.

"This is a fun time for our team," coach Craig Mortensen said. "Players develop during the summer, and we watch to see where they'll fit for us next year."

The Bulldogs, who return three starters from a state semifinal team last year, will be without two of those starters for at least part of June.

Junior point guard Angie Charchalis broke her finger and senior center Cayla Maneotis is spending her time with a team on the Front Range.

"We have a lot of talented and hard-working players," Mortensen said. "I look forward to see how everything fits together for us as a team."

The girls have two changes from last year's summer schedule. The varsity team is going to play in a Gold Crown Tournament from June 15 to 17 in Denver. All three levels -- freshman, JV and varsity -- are participating in the University of Wyoming team camp from June 25 to 28.

The boys have one starter returning from a team that finished in the middle of the Western Slope League with a 7-7 record.

"This year's team is made up of guys from every level of last year's team," coach Scott Parker said. "The biggest things this summer are to figure out that chemistry, because this is the first time all of these guys have played together."

Parker isn't making it a cakewalk for his inexperienced team. The Bulldogs have played in seven games this summer and only one of them has been against a school in a smaller classification. The Bulldogs have taken their lumps, winning one of those games, but they've played teams tough.

"We played (Class 5A) Columbine and had them beat until the final minute," Parker said.

During the weekend, the Bulldogs played in Denver and picked up their first win of the summer against defending league champions Battle Mountain.

"I saw some good things, defensively," Parker said. "They're starting to understand each other."

All three levels of Bulldog basketball will host Coal Ridge Friday, with games starting at about noon.

After that the Bulldogs will play in a Cheyenne, Wyo., tournament as well as several more games on the Front Range in June.

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