How good it is

MCHS girls dominate Palisade, 71-27

How lopsided was Friday night's 71-27 home win against Palisade for the Moffat County girls basketball team?

So lopsided that MCHS coach Craig Mortensen was intermixing in junior varsity players with the varsity squad in the second quarter.

How good was Moffat County's defense?

With 6-foot-5 Cayla Maneotis blocking and altering shots and Angie Charchalis and teammates ripping steals and forcing turnovers, the blue-and-white Bulldogs limited their maroon-and-white Bulldog counterparts to nine field goals and nine free throws -- for the entire game.

How good was Moffat County's offense?

With the perimeter players passing the ball around, opening up the middle, post player Markie Workman scored 16 of her 22 points in the first quarter.

With Workman controlling the paint, it left open the three-point line for Charchalis, who hit six shots from behind the arc and finished with 22 points. It also cleared lanes for Jorgiea Raftopoulos, who finished with 8 points.

All said, Moffat County made 17 field goals, seven 3-pointers, and 18 free throws.

So, how good was MCHS Friday night? So good that Palisade coach Jay Muller gave MCHS one of the highest compliments.

"This is a program that has a lot of history, and a lot of tradition to it, and we're starting and we're building," he said. "It's always good to model yourself after people who are better than you."

Perhaps one tip Muller can pick up is to learn from previous year's play, such as what MCHS is trying to do this year, using a film session of last year's state final four as motivation. The lesson for the Bulldogs?

"We have to play every night as if it's a final four game," Mortensen said. "That's the kind of mentality we have to have against some of these teams that may not be as strong," noting he was not disparaging the young Palisade team.

This past week, the Bulldogs had been working on spreading the offense to get the ball into the post, and if a team double-teams, then the post can kick out for open 3-pointers, or drives to the hoop.

It worked early and often, with Workman and Charchalis scoring all 21 of Moffat County's points in the first quarter for a 21-8 lead.

"We were just clicking as a team," Workman said. "We just found the open guy. ... We really connected as a team. It was one of our best (games)."

Defensively, Maneotis rejected two shots in the opening minutes, and altered several more throughout the game, while Bulldog defenders jumped the lanes and grabbed several steals.

"It was just great intensity," Mortensen said. "Cayla blocked some shots early, and we got some rebounds and turnovers. ... The defense really set the tone of the game."

In the first three minutes of the second quarter, MCHS rattled off 12 points, paced by a Charchalis 3-pointer and a steal for layup, as well as a driving layup by Raftopoulos, who was fouled and made the free throw.

The Bulldogs rolled from there. At halftime, MCHS led, 37-12, and led 54-16 entering the fourth.

The win improves Moffat County's record to 12-1 overall and 4-0 in Western League play. Palisade is now 5-7, 2-2.

Today's game against Delta has been canceled due to weather. No make up date has been scheduled.

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