Sparked by junior varsity players, the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team overcame a four-point first quarter to beat Palisade, 45-39, on Saturday. The Bulldogs have won four consecutive games and will face Steamboat Springs on Thursday.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Sparked by junior varsity players, the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team overcame a four-point first quarter to beat Palisade, 45-39, on Saturday. The Bulldogs have won four consecutive games and will face Steamboat Springs on Thursday.

MCHS girls varsity basketball team drops Palisade, 45-39

Box Score

Box score from the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team’s game Saturday against Palisade:

(Team – 1st – 2nd – 3rd – 4th – final)

Moffat – 4 – 14 – 12 – 15 – 45

Palisade – 16 – 2 – 9 – 12 – 39

With three minutes left in the first quarter of Saturday’s Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball game against Palisade, head coach Matt Ray went to his bench and inserted junior varsity players.

The score was 16-0 in Palisade’s favor and things were getting out of control.

The JV experiment worked, as the Bulldogs were able to storm back and win their fourth consecutive game, 45-39.

“We started bad in the first quarter and we couldn’t get any points,” Ray said. “We put the junior varsity players in to hopefully spark the team.”

Sophomore Kori Finneman scored the next four points, putting the score after the first quarter at 16-4.

The junior varsity players put in another basket to start the second quarter, and then Ray put his varsity players back in.

“When the varsity got back in, they played well enough to win,” Ray said. “I think they realized that if they didn’t play well, that the junior varsity players would play the whole game.

“They thought someone would take their spot if they didn’t play good enough.”

The Bulldogs (10-6 overall, 4-1 Western Slope League) outscored Palisade 14-2 in the second quarter to go into the half tied, 18-18.

Ray attributed the slow start to many different factors.

“It was an emotional game after the win against Delta the night before,” he said. “Plus, we had to sleep on the road and didn’t get in until late, so we just weren’t mentally ready to play.”

When Palisade applied full-court pressure to start the game, Ray said his team couldn’t break through.

“In the junior varsity game, the girls faced the same pressure and got some easy layups,” he said. “I think that is why they were able to break through in the varsity game to get some points.”

As the varsity players started to sub back in, Ray said the offense came to focus.

“The girls had to realize they could do this, and then they started to work the ball until they got their best shot,” he said. “We didn’t rush and we didn’t hurry.”

Ray said his team’s defense was great after his players settled into the game.

“(Palisade) didn’t have much of an outside shot, so they couldn’t score,” he said. “We started to click and we were able to pull out the victory.”

The Bulldogs will play next at 6 p.m. Friday in Steamboat Springs against the rival Sailors.

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