Moffat County High School girls basketball players Courtney Edington, front, and Danette Crofts are congratulated by teammates after the Bulldogs defeated the Steamboat Springs Sailors on Tuesday night in Steamboat.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Moffat County High School girls basketball players Courtney Edington, front, and Danette Crofts are congratulated by teammates after the Bulldogs defeated the Steamboat Springs Sailors on Tuesday night in Steamboat.

Bulldogs sink Sailors

Moffat County girls top Steamboat Springs, 55-48

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Moffat County High School girls basketball player Alicia Nelson keeps the ball from going out of bounds during the second half of Tuesday night's game against Steamboat Springs.

— Moffat County girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen has seen enough games and enough bad halves to know it's never a good idea to panic.

So even when his team trailed Steamboat Springs by double digits at halftime, the veteran coach - and maybe more importantly, his team - remained calm.

The end result was a 55-48 Moffat County win, helping the Bulldogs keep pace at the top of the Western Slope League.

"I told them I can't draw on the board what's wrong with our first-half play," Mortensen said about his halftime speech. "It comes from within."

Whatever it was, Moffat County certainly found it.

Trailing, 27-16, at half, the Bulldogs came out firing.

Moffat County outscored the Sailors, 20-9, in the third quarter and made 8-of-10 field goals.

Courtney Edington scored 11 of her game-high 17 points in the quarter, as the Bulldogs tied the contest up at 36 heading into the final frame.

"We give up more points in each quarter of the second half than we did in that entire first half," Steamboat coach John Ameen said. "It was a mirror of each half on the defensive end. It was the good and the bad."

Moffat County took control of the fourth quarter, going up 42-38 with 6:35 remaining.

Steamboat continued to claw back, closing to within two at 42-40 and 49-47 before Moffat County hit 6 of 8 free throws in the last two minutes to put the game away.

Initially, however, it looked as if Steamboat might upset its cross-valley rival.

Playing their best half of basketball all year, Steamboat ran out to a 16-9 first-quarter lead, thanks to the play of its defense.

The Sailors limited the Bulldogs to 6-of-21 shooting in the first half and forced 11 Moffat County turnovers.

Steamboat led, 27-12, late in the second quarter before Moffat County finished the half on a 4-0 run to close to 27-16.

"We felt pretty fortunate to get out of here with a win," Mortensen said. "Steamboat was prepared. John is doing an excellent job with those kids, and they are getting better every year."

In addition to Edington, Kylie Bauman scored 13 points for Moffat County. Gracie Stockdale paced the Sailors with 10 points.

The win puts the Bulldogs at 9-7 overall and 6-1 in league play. The Sailors fell to 5-10 overall and 2-5 in league play.

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