Moffat County seniors Chet Harvey, left, and Zach Raftopoulos wrestle for the ball against a Windsor player during the boys varsity basketball team’s game at the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out. The team lost in its Thursday game against Rifle, 73-56, in the first round of the Palisade Tournament.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Moffat County seniors Chet Harvey, left, and Zach Raftopoulos wrestle for the ball against a Windsor player during the boys varsity basketball team’s game at the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out. The team lost in its Thursday game against Rifle, 73-56, in the first round of the Palisade Tournament.

MCHS hoops teams lose in Palisade

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Moffat County sophomore Kyleen Ellgen pulls in a rebound during the girls varsity basketball team’s home win Monday against Grand Junction Central High School. The team lost, 53-33, in its Thursday game against Rifle in the Palisade Tournament.

Box Score

Box score for boys varsity basketball team’s Thursday game against Rifle

Team First Second Third Fourth Final

Moffat County 12 9 17 18 56

Rifle 15 26 19 13 73

• MCHS boys top scorers

(Name Points)

Angelo Raftopoulos 22

Dylon Camilletti 12

Zach Raftopoulos 9

Colby Haddan 6

Box score for girls varsity basketball team’s Thursday game against Rifle

Team First Second Third Fourth Final

Moffat County 11 7 9 6 33

Rifle 21 17 11 4 53

• MCHS girls top scorers

(Name Points)

Bailey Hellander 8

Lauren Roberts 7

Britteny Ivers 6

Annie Sadvar 6

Too little, too late.

That was how Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball coach David Bradshaw described his team’s efforts on Thursday.

Fresh off a 58-56 overtime win against the Grand Junction Central Warriors, the Bulldogs headed to Palisade to face the Rifle Bears.

But, Bradshaw said an important element was missing from the start of the game.

“We just weren’t mentally prepared,” he said.

The MCHS boys team lost to Rifle (1-1), 73-56, in the first round of the Palisade Tournament. The loss puts the Bulldogs’ season record at 1-4.

Bradshaw said the team struggled at the beginning of the game.

“It was a rough game. We didn’t really show up for the first half, and we came out real flatfooted,” he said. “We were really stagnant in the second quarter.”

Though the team finished the first quarter down only 15-12, the Bears put in 26 points in the second, leaving the halftime score 41-21.

Bradshaw said he noticed a newfound energy in his team going into the third quarter, as they began playing the way they should have the entire game. The team outscored Rifle, 35-32, in the second half.

Senior Angelo Raftopoulos led the scoring with 22 points overall, followed by fellow seniors Dylon Camilletti and Zach Raftopoulos, with 12 points and nine points, respectively.

But, even after coming from behind to beat the Warriors earlier in the week, another such victory was not in the cards for the Bulldogs.

“We just dug ourselves too big a hole, and we couldn’t get out of it,” Bradshaw said.

The girls varsity basketball team suffered the same kind of setback in its game, losing to Rifle, 53-33.

“(Rifle) got 10, 15 points right off the bat,” girls coach Matt Ray said. “They were controlling the ball and we were just trying to keep up.”

Ray said a lack of rebounding in the first quarter set the scene for the Bulldogs to be dominated by the Bears throughout the game. Like the boys, the girls were down by 20 at the half, in their case, 38-18.

“Their defense just took us out of the game,” he said.

Sophomore Bailey Hellander netted the most points for the Bulldogs with eight, followed by senior Lauren Roberts with seven and senior Britteny Ivers and junior Annie Sadvar, each with six.

The loss leaves the girls with a 4-4 record, with the most recent win their 65-24 triumph over Central on Monday. Ray said he did not expect to see such a score against the Bears, now 2-0.

“I knew that Rifle was a tough team, but I was hoping we’d be able to step up and battle them,” he said.

The boys and girls teams both play the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers today in the second round of the tournament.

Ray and Bradshaw both said they’re unsure what to expect from the opposition. Bradshaw said regardless of who the boys play, they still have to work on improving basic factors of the game.

“We’ve got to step it up defensively and hustle more,” he said.

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