Coach Craig Mortensen addresses his team before practice Tuesday. The Bulldogs will open the season Friday ranked No. 5 in the state.

Photo by John Vandelinder

Coach Craig Mortensen addresses his team before practice Tuesday. The Bulldogs will open the season Friday ranked No. 5 in the state.

Bulldog girls basketball starts the season ranked No. 5 in state

— The Moffat County High School basketball team begins the season Friday in Utah.

Coach Craig Mortensen will be traveling with his girls, and he'll be bringing along a different kind of baggage on the trip.

The Bulldogs will be carrying a bull's-eye on their backs, as the Rocky Mountain News has given the team a No. 5 ranking in the state to start the year.

Seniors Angie Charchalis and Markie Workman have been named as two of the top three players to watch in the Western Slope League.

"I guess it's a compliment," Mortensen said. "It's nice, but I don't think it will have an effect on how we play the game."

Charchalis and Workman have been collecting basketball awards for the past two years now, so for them to be mentioned as key performers was of no surprise to the ball coach.

"They've worked hard," he said. "It just shows they are the best in the west. I think they are as good as any players in the state. Unfortunately, those two can't win games by themselves."

Mortensen admits each season's game plan is designed around his key players in an effort to take advantage of their skills.

But, the coach also said that to be effective you have to game plan for when the unexpected occurs.

"You have to now plan for when one of those two, or both, are double-teamed," he said. "Everyone else on the floor has to do their part."

Mortensen singled out Amy Dilldine, Jorgiea Raftopoulos and Desirae Pearcey as three players who should benefit from the extra attention given to Workman and Charchalis.

"Desirae can hang in the post with the best of them," he said. "Amy can slash and score and Jorgiea should ease some of the ball handling duties away from Angie."

As far as being in the spotlight as far as the Western Slope is concerned, that's old news to Mortensen. His teams have been ranked for as long as he can remember.

"We've had a bull's-eye on our backs for seven or eight years now," he said. "We've been through this before. The girls know the tradition we've built here at Moffat County. Many of them have been a part of it for some time now."

The coach stated he's much happier being on the upside of the rankings, rather than the downside.

"It's better to have a bull's-eye," he said, "than to be looking up through a telescope."

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