Palisade At halftime against Montezuma-Cortez High School, Matt Ray set out a challenge to one of his Moffat County Bulldogs.
“(Montezuma-Cortez) were raining threes in the first half,” he said. “So I told Maddy (Jourgensen) her job was to make sure that didn’t happen in the second half.”
The Panther’s Keely Yanito hit three of the team’s six, three pointers in the half to give Cortez a 33-32 lead going into halftime.
Jourgensen’s assignment was to shut her down. If basketball were a class at the high school, Jourgensen would have received an A in the second half. Yanito didn’t hit another three and the Bulldogs pulled away for a 67-57 win.
“I pretty much face guarded her and didn’t care about anybody else,” Jourgensen said. “I was almost scared to not let her out of my sights.”
Getting the key defensive assignment is commonplace for Jourgensen.
“My shot isn’t that great so my biggest contribution to the team is my defense,” said Jourgensen, who finished with three points. “It means a lot to me when Matt says, ‘guard their best player’ and I work hard to shut them down.”
Jourensen left the scoring to junior Melissa Camilletti (20 points), senior Lauren Roberts (15 points) and junior Annie Sadvar (14 points).
The point totals are directly related to the halftime adjustments suggested by Ray.
“I told our guards (Camiletti) that we could drive the ball on (Cortez),” he said. “And, I also told them that our posts (Roberts and Sadvar) should be able to score if we were smart in getting them the ball. We just needed to take better angles than in the first half.”
After the game Camilletti checked the scorebook to see how many free throws she had taken. She finished 6 for 13. Ray told her it would have been a career game if she could have hit more free throws.
“I was so tired at the end, I just couldn’t get them there,” she told her coach.
Camilletti attributed her exhaustion to how aggressive she and her other guards were with the ball.
“We really wanted to get out and run because (Cortez) was a small team,” she said. “It worked because we got a lot of fouls on them and it opened up the opportunity to get the ball inside. It also made me tired.”
Ray said that he was happy with his girls’ performance compared to the previous day’s loss to Rifle.
“They played a lot smarter today,” he said. “I told them that they needed to play more under control and I thing they did that well.”
The Bulldogs improved their season record to 5-3 and they will finish up their tournament against hosts Palisade today at 1 p.m.
Press dooms boys hoops team in 59-37 defeat
Turnovers and poor offensive execution cost the Moffat County boys team its chance for a second win of the season, said coach David Bradshaw after Friday’s game here.
“We didn’t handle (Mont-
ezuma Cortez’s) pressure well after the first quarter,” Bradshaw said. “They pressed us all game and we probably had something like 30 turnovers.”
The Bulldogs, who dropped to 1-5, trailed just 10-9 after the first quarter but the Panther’s press got the best of them in the second quarter. Cortez scored 10 points off of turnovers and outscored Moffat County 22-8 in the quarter.
“We need to listen to what our coaches are telling us,” said senior Chet Harvey. “There are a lot of things we can do better but the best thing we can do is probably work on our ball control.”
Bradshaw said he wouldn’t be surprised if today’s opponent, Palisade, puts some full-court pressure on as well.
“The scouting report on us has to be that we don’t handle the ball well,” he said. “We need more patience on offense. Our high post was open all game but we didn’t make the effort to swing the ball or get it to that spot on the court.”
Seniors Zach and Hodge Raftopoulos led the team with nine points. Juinor Colby Haddan had eight points.
The tournament will conclude today with the battle of the Bulldogs. Palisade and Moffat County tip off at 2:30.