Box score from the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team’s game Friday against Thompson Valley High School in the second round of the 4A state playoffs at Centaurus High School:
(Team — 1st — 2nd — 3rd — 4th — final)
• Moffat County — 13 — 17 — 11 — 24 — 65
• Thompson Valley — 6 — 11 — 16 — 8 — 41
MCHS leading scorers:
(Name — points)
• Melissa Camilletti — 17
• Lisa Camilletti — 15
• Annie Sadvar — 13
LAFAYETTE — Melissa Camilletti said the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team works on free throws all the time in practice.
The shots from the charity strip may be uncontested, but are not always a given.
The Bulldogs showed hard work pays off Friday in the second round of the 4A state playoffs against Thompson Valley, as they went 30 for 35 from the free throw line, including a 10 for 10 run to start the fourth quarter, en route to a 65-41 victory.
“When both teams got in foul trouble, we finished and they didn’t,” said Melissa, an MCHS senior. “Our free throws were crucial and we stepped up and made them when we needed them.”
Both offenses struggled early at Centaurus High School, with missed shots and turnovers dictating the pace of the game.
But the third-seeded Bulldogs (18-6) used fast-break points to jump out to a 13-6 lead heading into the second quarter.
Head coach Matt Ray said he knew his team would have to break through Thompson Valley’s press in order to get points.
“We played just like I had hoped, and when they pressed us we broke through,” he said. “We took advantage of their press with some nice inside shots to get out to an early lead.”
Juniors Makayla Camilletti and Lisa Camilletti helped extend the Bulldogs’ lead in the second quarter, combining for three 3-pointers to give MCHS a 30-17 halftime lead.
However, Ray said the Bulldogs came out flat in the third quarter and the sixth-seeded Eagles (16-9) took advantage.
The Bulldogs were called for numerous traveling violations as Thompson Valley pulled with five in the third quarter and trailed by eight, 41-33, heading into the fourth.
“Before the fourth, I basically said told the girls that teams have runs,” Ray said. “But we had to come out in the fourth and have our own run and we did, forcing them to foul and we made our free throws.
“We played poised and our effort was definitely there.”
Moffat County opened the fourth with a 12-1 run, fueled by the 10 free throws.
“Our free throws absolutely crushed (Thompson Valley), and you could see it on their faces,” Ray said. “They had to foul us, but when we made our free throws, they had no answer and no where else to go to stay in the game.”
Melissa led the Bulldogs with 17 points, Lisa had 14 and senior Annie Sadvar added 13.
Melissa said the third quarter aside, the Bulldogs took care of the ball and controlled the paint on both sides of the floor.
“We did a good job getting help inside to control their post,” she said. “We got our shots to fall and we took what we have learned all season into this game.”
The Bulldogs’ victory sends them into the Sweet 16, where they match up against No. 2 Centaurus at 6:30 p.m. today at Centaurus.
Ray said Centaurus may be the higher seed, but the Bulldogs are “poised and focused.”
“I think the girls are excited,” he said. “Our goal at the beginning of the season was to make the Elite 8, and now we are one step away. They will work hard and be ready to go.”
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