Moffat County's Katia Voloshin puts up a shot with a Steamboat Springs defender closing out on her. The freshman girls team won Tuesday in Craig, 52-15.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Moffat County's Katia Voloshin puts up a shot with a Steamboat Springs defender closing out on her. The freshman girls team won Tuesday in Craig, 52-15.

Moffat County freshmen split with Steamboat

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Lea Camilletti brings the ball up the floor vs. Steamboat Springs Tuesday in the Moffat County High School gym.

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Kaitalyn Reed beats her defender on the baseline Tuesday against Steamboat Springs.

Freshman boys scoring

Jesse Kurz, 8 points

Scott Foster, 8

Dusty Taylor, 6

Ben Robinson, 4

Hugh Turner, 4

Steven Walls, 2

Spencer Turner, 2

Freshman girls games this weekend

Saturday at MCHS, CMS and Sandrock Elementary

vs. Uintah 11 a.m.

vs. Aspen 1 p.m.

vs. Coal Ridge 3 p.m.

Pressure defense was only good enough Tuesday to get one win for Moffat County.

The Moffat County C teams took over the court Tuesday afternoon in the MCHS gym. The Bulldogs freshmen split a pair of games with Steamboat Springs, as the girls team won 52-15, followed by a loss for the boys, 44-34.

Both teams employed full court defense for much of the game, but it was not as successful in the second game as the first.

Pressure breaks down Steamboat

The freshman girls team used its zone press from the opening tip, bothering Steamboat’s ball-handlers and intercepting errant passes from the start. They opened up a 15-3 lead after three consecutive turnovers led to Bulldog baskets.

“We’ve been working our press all year long,” coach Norm Yoast said. “That’s one thing they like to do.”

Yoast said Moffat County’s intensity wasn’t up to par with much of the rest of the season on defense, but the results were still there. In the second half, Steamboat was held to five points.

Some of the credit for the Bulldogs’ performance goes to their experience against a wide variety of teams from large and small schools, Yoast said.

“We don’t play as many local teams as we used to,” he said. “It’s Steamboat twice and Meeker twice, and then otherwise we’ve got a whole range. We’ve got some big schools with good programs. It gives us a whole wide variety of things to look at and get ready for the next level.”

Moffat County hosts a tournament Saturday in Craig, playing Uintah, Aspen and Coal Ridge. Games will start at 9 a.m., with the Bulldogs’ first game at 11 a.m.

Offensive struggles doom Bulldogs

In the second game of the day, Moffat County’s freshman boys had a tough time finding their shooting stroke and gave up too big a lead to overcome, falling to Steamboat by 10.

The Bulldogs’ defense stood tall against the Sailors in the first half, but Steamboat’s defense was equally good, forcing Moffat County to play a half court game instead of the run-and-gun style they prefer.

Both teams still found good looks occasionally, but Steamboat was able to finish more of theirs, heading into halftime with a 19-15 lead.

In the third quarter, Steamboat started handling the Bulldogs’ press defense and began to pull away, opening up a 12-point lead by the end of the frame. Moffat County’s offense, meanwhile, still couldn’t find the basket.

“We left a lot at the rim,” coach Justin Gallegos said. “They ran the offense well, we had good rotation, just shots weren’t falling. No. 44 for Steamboat (Zach Holm) is very good inside defensively. He created an issue for us, trying to figure out how to play on him.”

Moffat County kept up its pressure and was able to close the gap to 10 with just under two minutes left, but would get no closer, as Steamboat’s passing was crisp in running out the clock.

“We tried a couple different presses and Steamboat handled it very well,” Gallegos said. “We got them a couple times, caught them off guard, but other than that they handled it very well.”

Gallegos offered credit to Steamboat, but would have liked to see his players start off the second half with more energy, and perhaps seen a different result in the game.

“I think third quarter we came out a little flat,” he said. “We dug a little bit of a whole there. That’s something we have to work on, is coming out of the locker room and stepping on the floor ready to go again.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com

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