MCHS girls basketball uses strong defense to win 6th WSL game |

MCHS girls basketball uses strong defense to win 6th WSL game

Joshua Gordon

Nike Cleverly, a Moffat County High School senior, drives to the basket Friday against Eagle Valley High School. The Bulldogs allowed only six points in the first three quarters to win their sixth consecutive Western Slop League game, 67-13.

Practice outside of the gym paid off for Moffat County High School sophomore Sassy Murray Friday night.

Dropping in four 3-pointers against Eagle Valley High School, Murray helped the MCHS girls varsity basketball team bury the Devils early and win the team's sixth consecutive Western Slope League game, 67-13.

Murray said she has been working on her outside shot both with the team and on her own.

"I have practiced the 3-pointers at my house and that has helped with my shot," she said. "It was just a good night for me, I guess."

The Bulldogs' (12-6 overall, 6-1 WSL) defense allowed only two points in each of the first three quarters and headed into the fourth quarter up, 44-6.

The Devils (5-13 overall, 2-7 WSL) scored the first two points in each of the first two quarters, but were held scoreless after.

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Heading into the game, Murray said the team's goal was to shut down Kayla Gagnon.

Gagnon scored only four points.

"We played really great defense tonight and got some good help side defense," Murray said. "We shut down number 50 (Gagnon), and we out-rebounded our opponent and only allowed them one shot.

"Our defense just worked really well in all areas (Friday)."

Head coach Matt Ray said his team's ability to stop Gagnon was the Bulldogs key to success.

"We really took away (Eagle Valley's) strength holding (Gagnon) to only four points," he said. "We doubled down on her and really never gave her an open shot."

The Bulldogs offense was running on all cylinders Friday, putting up double-digit points in all four quarters, including 23 in the fourth powered by the team's reserves.

Sophomores Makayla Camilletti, Kyleen Ellgen, Kori Finneman and Bailey Hellander scored a combined 17 points in the fourth quarter.

Junior Adrie Camp, who worked in the team's starting rotation, also scored four points in the game and helped the Bulldogs defense shut down the Devils.

Murray said the team's new offense, which it implemented before the Steamboat Springs game Jan. 28, worked well against Eagle Valley.

"We had really good ball rotation and we worked on the pass and cut," she said. "We were able to work with many different things in the game on offense."

Murray led the Bulldogs in scoring with 14 points. Senior Lauren Roberts and Maddy Jourgensen added 13 points and 11 points, respectively.

Ray said his team's patience on offense was the deciding factor.

"With patience, we worked the ball to get the shot we wanted," he said. "We missed some lay ups early, but we didn't get frustrated and kept playing our style of game."

Coming into the game, Ray said he thought his team was the better team, and after the game was proud the Bulldogs didn't play down to their opponent.

"Our players played to their capabilities and played at our level," he said. "We did what it took to be successful."

The Bulldogs play at Battle Mountain High School at 12:30 p.m. today.

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