Moffat County High School girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen addresses his team Wednesday at the beginning of practice. The Bulldogs face the top-ranked Broomfield Eagles today in the Sweet 16 round of the 4A high school girls basketball state playoffs.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Moffat County High School girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen addresses his team Wednesday at the beginning of practice. The Bulldogs face the top-ranked Broomfield Eagles today in the Sweet 16 round of the 4A high school girls basketball state playoffs.

Bulldogs face top-ranked Eagles in Sweet 16

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Starting 5

Projected starting five (points per game average in parenthesis):

Moffat County Broomfield

Danette Crofts (6.1) Chaundra Sewell (12.5)

Alicia Nelson (8.6) Adrianna Prins (13.4)

Ariel Sanchez (8.9) Sophia Rhodes (9.8)

Courtney Edington (9.9) Autumn Chase (8.3)

Kylie Bauman (5.2) Alex Biegner (5.3)

Keys to victory

Craig Mortensen's three keys to victory:

1. Control the ball.

2. Good shot selection.

3. "Hope they don't score the first quarter."

Mike Croell's three keys to victory:

1. Play great defense.

2. Avoid foul trouble.

3. Be patient on offense.

Moffat County High School girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen would be the first to admit today's Sweet 16 opponent Broomfield High School is a tough matchup.

The Eagles (24-0 overall, 16-0 Northern League) are the top-ranked 4A team in the state, the two-time defending state champions and have won 14 of 24 games by at least 40 points.

But, the Bulldogs didn't get this far from shying away from competition.

"It's going to be the biggest challenge we've had this year," Mortensen said. "It'll be tough, but the score is 0-0 when you start."

The Bulldogs (16-8 overall, 12-2 Western Slope League) have won 11 of their last 12 games to earn a spot in today's 6:30 p.m. game at the ThunderDome in Denver.

"We're playing a lot better now than at the beginning of the season," Mortensen said. "We are playing together better. I think everybody knows what they can do and what they shouldn't be doing."

The Eagles haven't lost a game since Feb. 1, 2008 - a three-point defeat at Silver Creek High School.

"These girls don't buy into records," Broomfield coach Mike Croell said. "If you were to ask them our record, they wouldn't know. They don't worry about things like that.

"The thing about high school basketball is, on any given day, anything can happen."

Moffat County averages 49.3 points per game on offense and 40.3 ppg defensively.

Courtney Edington leads a balanced Moffat County attack, averaging 9.6 ppg. Ariel Sanchez (8.9 ppg), Alicia Nelson (8.6), Danette Crofts (5.8) and Kylie Bauman (4.9) round out the MCHS starting five.

"We're playing to our strengths," Mortensen said. "We've been playing pretty good defense, and our shot selection has actually been pretty good. You may not think that if you looked at our box score and it says that we make more threes than we do twos, but actually that's what we're better at. It's either going to work or it's not going to work. That's what we are."

Broomfield averages 72.8 ppg on offense this season, and is holding the opposition to 28.8 ppg.

Adrianna Prins (13.4 ppg), Chaundra Sewell (12.5), Sophia Rhodes (9.8), Autumn Chase (8.3) and Alex Biegner (5.3) will start for the Eagles.

"I'm lucky to have a pretty special group of seniors," Croell said. "It's one of those once in a lifetime-type rosters. Every year things seem to go our way."

Broomfield may have the lofty numbers, ranking and an all-star roster, but games are played on the hardwood, not on paper.

"All of that really doesn't matter," Mortensen said. "We've done quite well for where we're at. We've been hovering at a good level of play. We just have to go out and give it everything we've got. We can't leave anything out there on the court."

Comments

amankra 5 years, 9 months ago

Hate to say this girls but hope you enjoyed the season while you can, cause not one team is going to stop Broomfield, especially if your whole team in under 6'0 good luck with their tall girl!! hahaha

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AltitudeAdjustment 5 years, 9 months ago

Size means very little in high school girls basketball. MC run'em into the ground and shoot their lights out and those big sasquatches from Broomfield will need to be life-flighted to Denver Zoo to be worked on by the best Vets available.

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boxer21 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree with altitude. It's easy to say they already lost, but let's not give up hope. We haven't lost or won until the scoreboard reads 0 on the clock.

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buck523 5 years, 9 months ago

There you go again Amankra, showing your maturity. You have it out for the coach....leave it at that. Support these young ladies who are in pursuit of their dreams. But, you probably cannot do that because you are too bitter.......you either rode the pine the entire time you played or are the parent of a student who did that. Just remember that the girls who are playing now had nothing to do with that.

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amankra 5 years, 9 months ago

Buck - I am not saying that i want the coach to loose, i have nothing against him - for the most part. I am just stating the truth that they will probably loose.

Altitude adjustment - have you not seen any of the girl on the Eastern slope? Their point guards are the size of our posts! and are probably 20 times quicker too!

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grannyrett 5 years, 9 months ago

amankra--Why are you so down on the girls team? If you "have nothing against him-for the most part" then why can't you just wish the girls good luck and let it go at that?

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