Craig For Moffat County High School girls basketball point guard Angie Charchalis, Saturday's 37-29 victory against Rifle was a long-time coming.
Last year, Charchalis and the Bulldogs team lost to the Bears in the regional tournament, hosted in Craig, cutting Moffat County's season short.
"They were the ones who ended our season last year, so of course, we have a little pent-up anger," she said. "It's been building up all summer. I've wanted to play them since we lost to them. I wanted to play them the next day."
She had to wait, but when she did get the chance, she helped lead the Bulldogs (8-3 overall, 2-1 in Western Slope play) to a victory.
Charchalis scored all eight of the Bulldogs' first-quarter points, hitting two 3s and taking in a steal in for a layup, giving Moffat County an 8-2 lead.
"Every time we gave Angie a little bit of space, she would knock it down," Rifle coach Brad Skinner said. "She is a tough player."
Three fouls, however, forced the senior guard to the bench with 52 seconds left in the first frame. She did not get off the bench in the second quarter.
With Charchalis, who finished with a game high 15 points, in foul trouble, and starter Markie Workman out of the game with an ankle injury, it meant the Bulldogs were without their two leading scorers.
The loss of those players "just changes your whole game plan thinking and game management," Moffat County coach Craig Mortensen said. "I thought the other girls stepped up."
Desirae Pearcey scored four of her six points in the second quarter, helping lift Moffat County to an 18-12 halftime lead.
With Charchalis back in the fold and the other Bulldogs players hitting in the second half, Moffat County began to run away with the contest, taking a 20 point lead, 35-15, with 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Skinner called a timeout, admitted that he didn't say much, but said he saw a different Rifle team out of the break. The Bears went on a 12-2 run to the end game. Rifle's Megan McWilliams scored four of her 10 points in the run, and Quincey Snyder scored five of her seven total points.
"I was real happy with the intensity at the end of the game," the Rifle coach said. ": I've just got to transfer that energy into the first quarter so that we come out and play harder in the first quarter."
Rifle's late game play forced Mortensen to call a time out as well, with the Bulldogs switching the offensive strategy from scoring to stalling to run out the clock.
For Moffat County, Ariel Sanchez finished with 2 points; Jorgiea Raftopoulos, 3; Amy Dilldine, 6; and Alicia Nelson, 5.
Raftopoulos was helped off the court in the fourth quarter after colliding with a Rifle player. She was walking after the game.
For Rifle, Chelsea Webb scored 5 points; Cortney Cordova, 2; Megan McWilliams, 10; Ciara Euler, 2; Kelsey Pyle, 1; and Alissa Skinner, 2.
In the end, Mortensen said defense was the key to the victory.
"It wasn't a pretty game," he said, "but nonetheless, when you win a game with some adversity, that's good."
Up next, the Bulldogs visit Palisade on Friday, and Delta on Saturday.