Moffat County leading scorers
Thursday vs. Grand Valley
Kori Finneman — 11 points
Lisa Camilletti — 10
Kylee Ellgen — 10
It wasn’t their best game, but the Moffat County High School girls basketball team got its league play under way the right way.
The Bulldogs, coming into the season expecting to be a top contender in the Western Slope League, beat Grand Valley, 52 – 31. The win, while one-sided, was not the play of a league champion, though.
Head coach Matt Ray loved the effort of his team, but saw plenty to work on.
“The players came out and played hard,” Ray said. “We made some early adjustments, going to a zone (defense) and from that point on they really didn’t have an answer. We won the rebounds by a big majority but had too many turnovers.
"It’s early in the season.”
After giving up the first four points of the second quarter resulting in a tie game at 13, Moffat County used a 9-0 run to provide a working margin it would not surrender for the remainder. Senior Kori Finneman, who led MCHS in scoring with 11, was key to the run, getting baskets inside and on the break.
“We actually played up-tempo like coach wants us to,” Finneman said of the Bulldogs’ offense. “I thought we ran our offense really well.”
While the lead was never less than eight and the Bulldogs built on it the rest of the game, it still didn’t leave a good taste in Ray’s mouth. Grand Valley’s pressing and trapping defense bothered Moffat County all night and led to a slew of Bulldogs’ turnovers.
“Way too many turnovers,” Ray said. “A lot of the girls really aren’t varsity seasoned, but they’ll get there. The more games they play, the better they’ll be.”
To improve on the turnovers, Finneman said it was a matter of helping their teammates against the press.
“We just left a girl behind,” Finneman said. “Taking the ball down we left one girls behind and then she’s just by herself. We need to bring more girls back to help.”.
It was also a cold shooting night for Moffat County, which went through several lengthy spells without points. One such stretch came in the third quarter, when Moffat County didn't score for the first four minutes.
They made up for those dry spells with quick bursts. Late in the third, Moffat County forced turnovers and scored six points in just over a minute.
The Bulldogs defense also stood tall, giving up quarters of nine, seven, seven and eight points to the Cardinals. That was an area Ray liked all around.
“Defensively I was happy with the whole thing,” he said. “Bailey Hellander blocking shots and getting rebounds down there for us. She’s really a defensive guru for us. Kori Finneman battling in there. Those two really controlled the boards for us.
"Everybody was rotating around. There was not standing moment for us.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or email@example.com. Follow Craig Daily Press Sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.