Craig Palisade won the opening tip against host Moffat County on Friday night in varsity girls basketball action.
Holly Odneal burst down the court, laying the ball in for two quick points and a Palisade early lead.
Unfortunately for the visitors, it would be their only lead of the evening.
Moffat County (15-3 overall, 9-1 Western Slope League) held Palisade (8-9 overall, 5-4 WSL) scoreless for the next 6:42, surging ahead and eventually finishing off the visitors in a 71-34 victory.
"I thought we were a little out of sync in the first period," Moffat County coach Craig Mortensen said. "The girls did a nice job tonight, but we still have to keep our focus. We still need to improve if we plan to do well in the postseason."
Moffat County used 10-0 runs in the first and second quarters behind a suffocating defense and a quick-strike offense.
Senior Angie Charchalis knocked down back-to-back 3's to ignite the first run, and senior Amy Dilldine blocked a Palisade 3-point attempt and scored four points to fuel the second-quarter surge.
Trailing by 18 points at the half, Palisade coach Jay Muller attempted to light a fire under his players after a dismal 7-18 showing from the free-throw line.
The motivation failed.
Palisade scored just four points in the third quarter, pretty much eliminating any chance of a comeback against the defending three-time Western Slope League champions.
"We talked about the free-throw thing at the break," Muller said. "But, I don't think the game would have been close even if we made those free-throws. We weren't intimidated like we were last time we played them, we just lacked in the fundamentals."
Charchalis led the MCHS attack, scoring 24 points in Moffat County's eighth consecutive victory. Senior post player Markie Workman added 14.
"We play both halves the same," Charchalis said. "We play like its 0-0 every time we step out on that floor."
Senior Bernadette Pitre, who scored eight points, led Palisade. Sophomore Megan Miller pitched in six.
"We had way too many turnovers," Pitre said. "We knew coming here that this game was pretty much a throw away game. We have to focus on the games we have left."
The MCHS seniors gave their parents flowers in honor of parent night. : Senior post player Desirae Pearcey missed the game due to a death in the family. : Mortensen gave each senior a piece of the hardwood in an annual senior tradition. : Moffat County wore throwback uniforms for Friday's matchup. :Workman left the game briefly in the second quarter with a bloody nose.
The Moffat County junior varsity girls basketball team put on a clinic Friday night, defeating visiting Palisade, 53-16.
Courtney Edington led the MCHS attack, scoring 20 points.
Arylle Rademacher pitched in with eight.
Katie Ellerman led Palisade with six points, followed by Olevia Shafer who scored four.
"We pressed them and they couldn't respond," MCHS JV coach Matt Ray said. "And, Courtney really showed up to play tonight."
John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org