At the beginning of each and every basketball season, Craig Mortensen schedules the toughest competition he can find.
The Bulldog girls basketball team travels hundreds of miles searching for a challenge - from the Front Range to out of state.
Mortensen does it for a reason: He wants his team to learn before league play begins.
Moffat County got a lesson Tuesday - provided by Grandview High School.
The Bulldogs were dispatched by the Wolves, 78-30, in the first round of the Grandview Girls Basketball Tournament in Aurora.
"The bottom line is we just didn't handle their pressure very well," Mortensen said. "They were really quick. They are a really good team."
Moffat County (1-3 overall, 0-0 Western Slope League - 4A) found itself in trouble from the opening tip.
Grandview (2-2 overall, 0-0 Centennial League - 5A) used a page out of Mortensen's playbook to jump out to a 26-8 first quarter lead.
The Bulldogs - known for its harassing full court press defense - got a taste of its own medicine Tuesday.
"They pressed us, and we couldn't take care of the ball," Mortensen said. "They forced a lot of turnovers that resulted in easy layups. Any time they steal the ball and shoot layups, it's tough to defend."
Moffat County regrouped to win the second quarter, 10-9, but the 19-point halftime deficit proved too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.
"We started to actually get some shots there in the second," Mortensen said. "But the first and third quarters did us in."
The Wolves outscored Moffat County, 29-6, in the third frame, extending its lead to 40 points.
"We had a lot of fundamental errors, team errors, you know just kind of playing scared and really tentative," Mortensen said. "We ran what we should have been doing, but we just didn't do it often enough."
Things won't get easier anytime soon.
The Bulldogs - the lone 4A school in the tourney - match up with 5A Rangeview at 3 p.m. today.
"We can't let our shoulders slouch," Mortensen said. "We've got to learn from this and move on.
"We'll have our shoot around in the morning and get ready for our next game."