Delaney Baker, a Moffat County High School freshman, dribbles around a Uintah High School defender Saturday during the Moffat County High School Tournament at MCHS. A late rally led by Baker came up short against Uintah in a 28-23 loss, leaving the MCHS girls freshmen basketball team with a 2-1 record on the day.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Delaney Baker, a Moffat County High School freshman, dribbles around a Uintah High School defender Saturday during the Moffat County High School Tournament at MCHS. A late rally led by Baker came up short against Uintah in a 28-23 loss, leaving the MCHS girls freshmen basketball team with a 2-1 record on the day.

MCHS girls freshmen basketball team finishes home tournament 2-1

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Results ...

Results from the MCHS girls freshmen basketball team’s performance in the Moffat County High School Tournament on Saturday at MCHS:

Game 1

• MCHS — 57

• Battle Mountain — 5

Game 2

• MCHS — 38

• Meeker — 18

Game 3

• MCHS — 23

• Uintah — 28

— MCHS went 2-1 in the tournament.

The Moffat County High School girls freshmen basketball team opened the Moffat County High School Tournament with two easy wins.

The Bulldogs routed Battle Mountain, 57-5, before scoring a victory over Meeker, 38-18, on Saturday at MCHS.

But MCHS struggled to control the ball against Uintah in their third game, and a late rally fell short in a 28-23 loss to end the tournament with a 2-1 record.

“I’m really happy they got challenged in the last game,” head coach Norm Yoast said. “I think the girls can get more from a close game than they can in the first two wins.

“We made some young mistakes, but they got the feeling of playing in a tight game and they can go from there.”

Against Uintah, the only time the Bulldogs led was 1-0 at the beginning of the game after a free throw from Tiawna Smercina.

MCHS trailed 7-6 before Uintah used a 6-2 run to end the first half and head into the second half with a 13-8 lead.

Each game in the tournament consisted of two 20-minute halves with a running clock.

Katelyn Peroulis hit a 3-pointer and Lauren Samuelson sank a free throw to pull the Bulldogs within one to start the second half.

However, Uintah switched to a pressure defense and MCHS turnovers led to a 19-12 Uintah lead.

Yoast said his girls struggled against the pressure and still need to make some adjustments offensively.

“We are young and our offense is still a work in progress,” he said. “We had some control mistakes, but we ran the offense well and now we just have something to work on in practice to get better at.”

Delaney Baker scored five straight MCHS points late in the game against Uintah to pull her team back within one, but Uintah hit two late jumpers to seal the game.

Despite losing the last game, Yoast said his team played well defensively in all three contests.

“Our help-side defense was really good and the girls were reading the court and helping each other,” he said. “We need to be able to rebound better, but every team has to do that. As a team, we played solid defense all day (Saturday).”

Freshmen basketball teams don’t have a chance to win league titles or make the playoffs, but Yoast said it’s a crucial year for the development of all players.

“It is essential to get this experience when you are a freshman,” he said. “Next year these girls will be the JV team and then the varsity, so the more they can play as a group, the better they can be.”

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