For Moffat County sophomore Kyleen Ellgen, being part of a team that’s keyed up for defense can be both a good and bad thing.
On one hand, protecting the basket is a must, but as seen in the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team’s Monday night game, too much aggression can cost you points.
Fortunately, the Bulldogs had plenty of points to spare.
The girls varsity team crushed the Grand Junction Central High School Warriors, 65-24.
However, coach Matt Ray and his players recognized that with less fouls, the point spread could have been even greater.
The problem was prevalent for both teams, with the Warriors committing 19 fouls to 18 for MCHS.
“We’ve got to learn that we can play a physical game and not get fouls like that,” Ray said.
Ray said the team’s Friday game against Castle View was more physical than Monday’s contest. However, fouls were more of a determinative factor against Central.
“There were a lot of points that they wouldn’t have gotten if it weren’t for the free throws,” Ellgen said.
The Bulldogs had no trouble scoring, and sprinted out to a 39-14 lead at the half, controlling the ball from the tip.
Junior Melissa Camilletti led the scoring with 11 points in the first half, while senior Nike Cleverly and sophomore Sassy Murray each added a pair of three-pointers.
“We took control early, we were aggressive, girls were rebounding, everything was working,” Ray said.
Camilletti finished the night with 14 points. Senior Lauren Roberts earned 8 and sophomore Bailey Hellander put in 7 straight points in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs’ scoring cooled in the second half, though Ray said he wanted players to keep alert and not get overconfident.
“We got a lead and then things started sliding,” he said. “Other than that, it was a really good game.”
Senior Britteny Ivers said playing the first home game of the season made the game more exciting.
“It was exciting all day to be back and to be ready to play,” she said.
The win puts the team at 4-3 for the season.
The Bulldogs will hit the road again Thursday to play Rifle in the first round of the Palisade Tournament.
Ray said his team would need to show more patience in the next outing.
“We mostly just need to be more patient with the ball than we have been,” the coach said.