MCHS girls basketball seeks consistency |

MCHS girls basketball seeks consistency

With league play approaching, Bulldogs looking to iron out the kinks

Ben Bulkeley

Moffat County High School’s Justine Hathhorn drives the ball to the basket during a recent MCHS practice. The Bulldogs will have their first league game Jan. 8 when Eagle Valley comes to Moffat County’s gym.

Moffat County High School's Justine Hathhorn drives the ball to the basket during a recent MCHS practice. The Bulldogs will have their first league game Jan. 8 when Eagle Valley comes to Moffat County's gym.
Shawn McHugh

Despite having played eight games already, the Moffat County High School girls basketball still is filled with question marks.

On Jan. 8 against Eagle Valley High School, coach Craig Mortensen hopes the team can answer some of the unknowns when the Bulldogs play their first home game.

"It's definitely going to be a measuring stick," Mortensen said. "One game doesn't determine the rest of the year, but it will be a good chance to see where we are."

The Devils, 7-1 on the season, should be a good matchup for Moffat County, 2-6, Mortensen said.

"Right now, Eagle Valley is at the top of the league in terms of wins and losses," he said. "It looks like they've been playing well."

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Getting back to Western Slope League opponents will be a welcome change for the Bulldogs, Mortensen said.

"It means a lot, and it definitely means more," he said. "We're more familiar with these teams and schools. We'll have some home games, so there are a lot of good things about playing in-league."

One of those positives is the added significance to each contest, Mortensen said.

"Each game has more meaning," he said. "In December, we have nonleague games to help us tune up and learn where we need to be."

The team has shown flashes of dominance in the early season, Mortensen said.

"We're improving," he said. "We're getting better all the time. With a young team, we feel like we're going to keep getting better as the year goes on."

The team has had one major flaw, however.

"We have been inconsistent all year," Mortensen said. "That's typical of a young team. Some nights, they will look really good. They will look really good for a while, but not through the entire game."

Sophomores Annie Sadvar and Lisa Camilletti have played a big role on the team this year, but every night, a different player seems to step up and contribute, Mortensen said.

"We're getting close to finding out who can really help us this year," he said. "There are a lot of girls who have been able to contribute in their own way."

When the Bulldogs have played well, everything has clicked.

Getting his team to play at that high level will be the biggest challenge, Mortensen said.

"Every game and every team has ups and downs," he said. "But we're beginning to see our lows not be as low, and they are playing at a higher level for longer.

"That's why it's so important we play more consistently."

Mentally, the Bulldogs appear ready for their league opponents, Mortensen said.

"The effort and intensity are there — both have been good so far," he said. "We need to take care of the ball. We need more opportunities to shoot the ball. Right now, we're turning it over too much."

The team is becoming more and more comfortable in the type of basketball Mortensen wants them to play, he said.

"We know what we need to do," he said. "We know what type of offense, type of defense, we'll be running this year.

"We have our system, we just need to be better in it."

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