Kyleen Ellgen, a Moffat County High School sophomore, boxes out her opponent at MCHS earlier this season. The MCHS girls junior varsity basketball team finished the season 17-1, falling only to Soroco on Dec. 7.

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Kyleen Ellgen, a Moffat County High School sophomore, boxes out her opponent at MCHS earlier this season. The MCHS girls junior varsity basketball team finished the season 17-1, falling only to Soroco on Dec. 7.

MCHS junior varsity teams wrap up basketball season

The Moffat County High School girls junior varsity team has a closeness rarely seen, head coach Sara Linsacum said.

Linsacum said the team’s ability to work together and know how each other works is a big reason they finished the 2010-2011 basketball season 17-1

“The girls team dynamic is amazing,” she said. “I coached the same girls in middle school, and they have been together for a long time.”

The Bulldogs’ only loss came on Dec. 7 to Soroco.

With a new offense and solid defense, the team finished the season on a 14-game win streak.

Linsacum said the team’s skill level has been great this season, with six of the eight junior varsity girls dressing for the varsity games throughout the season.

“We have all sophomores and one junior, and the team is averaging five 3-pointers a game,” she said. “If one girl isn’t on, another one will step up.”

While the stats have not been completely compiled, Linsacum said sophomore Lisa Camilletti was the team’s leading scorer on the season.

Still, Linsacum said her team has many contributors.

“Some games Lisa is the scorer and other games it is Makayla (Camilletti) or Bailey (Hellander),” she said. “Inside, we have Adrie Camp and Kori Finneman who play hard every game.”

Linsacum said the girls shouldn’t have much trouble making the move to varsity because the two teams practiced together during the season.

“Our team does everything exactly the same as the varsity team from offense to defense,” she said. “Since Matt (Ray) and I have switched the offense, we feel the junior varsity has ran the offense better than the varsity.

“The (junior varsity) girls have always played solid defense, but they have really improved on running plays and being patient on offense.”

Linsacum said the playing time some of the players have had with the varsity team has been valuable.

“If the varsity needed a clutch 3-pointer, Lisa or Makayla would be one of the first girls in,” she said. “They have been huge for the varsity this year at times.”

As the girls prepare to make the jump to varsity next year, Linsacum said they would have to keep working in the off-season.

“We’ve had girls like (sophomore) Sassy Murray who played half the season on junior varsity and now plays a ton on the varsity,” she said. “If the girls continue their hard work throughout the summer, some will start on varsity next year.”

Preparing for the big leagues

No matter the outcome of a basketball game, John Haddan said the Moffat County High School boys junior varsity team will always give 100 percent effort.

“Every time they guys get on the basketball floor, they play really hard,” Haddan said. “They don’t always execute everything, but they will give everything they have.”

Haddan, the Bulldogs’ head coach, said the biggest improvement his team made in its 9-7 season was playing more as a team and not individually.

“Throughout the season, the guys learned to play together as a team and create shots for each other,” he said. “They realized they had to rely on each other to win games, and they progressed well in that area.”

During most of the season, Haddan said he had depth in both the post and the guard positions.

Juniors Andy Browning and Jacob Scroggs and sophomores Tyler Hildebrandt and Wyatt Oberwitte helped the Bulldogs’ inside game while junior Caleb Lee, sophomores Kennan Bradshaw, Garrett Buckley and Zach Booco and freshman Taft Cleverly controlled the ball as guard.

In the middle of January, Scroggs suffered a concussion and was out for the rest of the season.

“We were in good shape in any position,” Haddan said. “We even had freshmen who filled in when needed toward the end of the season.”

Because his team practiced with the varsity all season, Haddan said when they try out for varsity next year, the terminology and system should just be an overview.

However, Haddan said each player could do work in the off-season to be more prepared.

“The post players can get in the weight room and work on their lower and upper body strength,” he said. “The guards can really work on their quickness, such as the first step explosiveness, and their passing.”

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