The Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team takes on Thompson Valley at 5 p.m. today in the second round of the 4A state playoffs at Centaurus High School. Head coach Matt Ray said his players need to be patient on offense and look for the best available shot.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

The Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team takes on Thompson Valley at 5 p.m. today in the second round of the 4A state playoffs at Centaurus High School. Head coach Matt Ray said his players need to be patient on offense and look for the best available shot.

MCHS girls basketball plays Thompson Valley today in 2nd round of state playoffs

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What: Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team v. Thompson Valley High School in the second round of the 4A state playoffs

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Centaurus High School, 10300 East South Boulder Rd., in Lafayette

— Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for students

Quotable

“Neither team will have a huge crowd or a big student section booing. It will be mutual for both teams playing in a different gym. Thompson Valley has played in Centaurus’ gym before, so that may be a slight advantage, but a court is a court. We just have to execute our game plan.”

— Annie Sadvar, a Moffat County High School senior, about playing on a neutral court in the second round of the 4A state basketball playoffs.

Annie Sadvar said playoff basketball is faster, more physical and overall has a more competitive feel to it.

Sadvar, a Moffat County High School senior, will help lead the MCHS girls varsity basketball team into a second-round match-up with Thompson Valley at 5 p.m. today at Centaurus High School.

The sixth-seeded Eagles (16-8) beat No. 11 Frederick, 57-28, on Wednesday in the first round, advancing to take on the Bulldogs.

Sadvar said Thursday was the only day Moffat County had to solely focus on Thompson Valley, but they feel prepared.

“We worked on more basic stuff earlier in the week, but (Thursday) was the first day we really got to put an emphasis on what Thompson Valley does,” she said. “We don’t know really what to expect, but a basketball team can only have a few strong points, like a 3-point shooter or a strong post, so we prepared to defend all that.”

The third-seeded Bulldogs (17-6) had a bye in the first round of the Brenda House Region.

Head coach Matt Ray said statistically, the Bulldogs are a better team, but it isn’t that simple in the playoffs.

“Thompson Valley’s best player is in the post, so we need to try and double team her and get some help from our wing players,” Ray said. “If Annie, Kori (Finneman) or Bailey (Hellander) can match-up in the post one-on-one, we can do that, but we don’t want them to get a free for all down there.

“They can also shoot the three, so we need to take that away as well.”

No. 2 Centaurus (19-3) will play No. 7 Mesa Ridge (14-10) in the other second-round match-up at Centaurus.

Sadvar said with neither Moffat County nor Thompson Valley being the home team, she expects an even match-up.

“Neither team will have a huge crowd or a big student section booing,” she said. “It will be mutual for both teams playing in a different gym. Thompson Valley has played in Centaurus’ gym before, so that may be a slight advantage, but a court is a court. We just have to execute our game plan.”

Ray said the Bulldogs would be looking to get hot from behind the arc early, which will hopefully open Sadvar up in the post.

“We have got to be patient and take care of the ball and get the shot we want,” he said. “Annie has been hard to stop inside, but if (Thompson Valley’s) post causes problems, we can kick it outside.

“We need to take advantage of what they give us, something we have done all season against teams.”

Fellow Western Slope League teams Steamboat Springs and Palisade fell in the opening round, but fifth-seeded Delta scored a 64-44 win over Conifer in the Tracy Hill Region to advance to the second round.

No. 4 Glenwood Springs also received a first-round bye and will play No. 5 Valor Christian today in the Tanya Haave Region.

Ray said the Bulldogs have had focused practices all week to avoid any kind of letdown today, but Sadvar and fellow senior Melissa Camilletti will have a big impact on the outcome against the Eagles.

This season’s tournament is the third postseason appearance for the seniors.

“Last year, Melissa and Annie both had big tournaments,” Ray said. “I think they will come in relaxed and if the other girls get the jitters out of the way early, our seniors can be a huge key for us in the playoffs.”

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