Melissa Camilletti, a Moffat County High School senior, led the MCHS girls varsity basketball team to a 48-36 victory Saturday in Palisade with a 16-point effort. The Bulldogs struggled to get shots to fall, but made 12 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter to wrap up the win.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Melissa Camilletti, a Moffat County High School senior, led the MCHS girls varsity basketball team to a 48-36 victory Saturday in Palisade with a 16-point effort. The Bulldogs struggled to get shots to fall, but made 12 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter to wrap up the win.

Free throws key in MCHS girls basketball team’s 48-36 victory in Palisade

Results ...

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

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

• Moffat County — 12 — 9 — 9 — 18 — 48

• Palisade — 5 — 16 — 9 — 6 — 36

MCHS leading scorers:

(Name — points)

• Melissa Camilletti — 16

• Annie Sadvar — 11

• Lisa Camilletti — 9

The Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team was riding high after a big win Friday over Delta.

On Saturday at Palisade, however, the Bulldogs played like a team struggling with their energy level.

MCHS took an early 12-5 lead after the first quarter, but Palisade tied the game at the break and again after the third quarter before the Bulldogs used clutch free throws down the stretch to pull out a 48-36 win.

“It is tough coming off a huge win,” coach Norm Yoast said. “We came out and executed everything, but we were just a step off. We would bobble passes and have good shots but just miss.

“Overall, the girls did well, but I think our legs were tired and our timing was off.”

Palisade (7-14 overall, 3-7 Western Slope League) tied the game at 21 heading into halftime and 30-30 after the third quarter.

Yoast, who filled in for head coach Matt Ray for a second straight game, said he huddled the players before the fourth quarter to make sure they stuck to the game plan.

“In the huddle, you could feel the confidence the girls had,” he said. “They knew the (fourth) quarter was their quarter and they had to take care of business. The seniors stepped up to be the leaders and led by example.”

In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs (15-6 overall, 8-2 WSL) hit a couple of early shots to take a small lead, forcing Palisade to foul.

MCHS players hit 12 of 14 fourth-quarter free throws to seal the game.

Senior Melissa Camilletti led the team with 16 points and fellow senior Annie Sadvar added 11.

Junior Lisa Camilletti contributed nine points.

Yoast said Palisade allowed the Bulldogs to get good looks at the basket, but the shots weren’t falling and free throws ultimately made the difference.

“We had our choice of shots from lay-ups out to 10 feet, but they would hit the rim and bounce out,” he said. “The refs let the players play, so it was good for us because we will have to bang it out under the rim in the playoffs, and we got to work for that (Saturday).”

Defensively, Yoast said he could see fatigue in the players, who didn’t switch on screens or communicate well.

But when it counted in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs pulled together.

“I think I needed to rotate the girls better in the first half because of the fatigue,” Yoast said. “But, we ran a full-court press most of the game and we got some big turnovers off that. We didn’t let (Palisade) control the tempo and they just threw up some off-balance shots that went in.”

The Bulldogs host Glenwood Springs at 6 p.m. Tuesday, and with a win, would move into a tie for first place in the league.

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