Moffat County girls basketball battles big in Monday’s season start | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County girls basketball battles big in Monday’s season start

Coach: High-level play in 55-52 loss to Fruita Monument shows Lady Bulldogs’ capabilities

Moffat County High School seniors Kayla Pinnt (10) and Leah Camilletti (14) are ready to spring into action as junior Mattie Jo Duzik crouches for the opening tipoff of the MCHS girls varsity season against opponent Fruita Monument Monday night. The Lady Bulldogs lost

They may have been facing a group of big cats in their first game of the season, but the girls of Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School were far from the underdogs Monday night. were far from the underdogs Monday night.

Moffat County High School were far from the underdogs Monday night.

The MCHS varsity basketball team lost, 55-52, in its season opener, a home match against Fruita Monument, a 5A school whose sheer size in numbers might have intimidated some, but the Lady Bulldogs hardly considered themselves outclassed.

Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball vs. Fruita Monument High School

Team — 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final

MCHS — 10 15 11 16 52

FMHS — 13 9 14 19 55

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Moffat County jumped ahead 5-0 with junior Josey King scoring the team's first bucket of the year, and senior Leah Camilletti quickly following suit by draining the inaugural 3-pointer.

The Wildcats got on the board with three consecutive free throws put in by sophomore Riley Snyder, allowing the team to catch up and then some to make it 13-10 in WIldcat favor to end the quarter. Yet, the MCHS girls pushed back hard in the second — King and Camilletti making it rain from outside while seniors Kayla Pinnt, Katia Voloshin and Hannah Walker took their own first points closer to the hoop.

A 25-22 Bulldog halftime lead segued into a back-and-forth third quarter that concluded with a layup from Camilletti to tie it at 36.

Players on both teams began to get more aggressive in the final quarter, scrambling after the ball as if their lives depended on it, knowing the game certainly did, as Fruita's defensive effort allowed them to pull ahead just enough to stay in front.

The Lady Bulldogs made every second count on its end of the court, but not enough shots were falling to get the win, whereas the Wildcats hit seven out of eight foul shots in the closing moments in spite of the loud home crowd wanting their girls to take a victory.

Camilletti was the top scorer on either side with 21 total points, including five 3s, at least one in each quarter, while Snyder had 18 for the Wildcats.

King had 13 points with three treys, and senior Morgan Lawton took six for the team, all late in the game.

"I got hit quite a bit, they were pretty big, and it was one of the highest intensity games we've ever had. That level we played at is going to help us," Lawton said.

Fruita Monument's scoring including 11 points from Mackenzie Wells and nine by Sitori Carver, both sophomores.

Shooting was 17 for 45 for MCHS and 19 for 33 for Fruita, with the two squads hitting eight for 17 and 13 for 17 from the charity stripe, respectively.

The win was the closest yet for the 4-0 Wildcats, and Fruita coach Michael Wells said he expects the next bout between the two Western Slope schools to be challenging after they each get further into their schedules.

"I don't know that it was our best effort, but they did a lot of things to us that made us look young, like we are, and by the end of the day, we managed to make enough plays and tough it out to escape," he said. "(Moffat County's) kids are really tough, whether it's loose balls or physical on the boards or the courage to hit the big shots. It's an impressive group."

Bulldog coach Sam McLeod said it was "lapses" at crucial moments that affected an otherwise great effort by his 0-1 players, an indicator they can handle what's in store this week at the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out Thursday through Saturday.

"It's all 4A and 5A competition for the whole stretch this week," he said. "It's designed to get us ready for league and for the playoffs."

McLeod said the Wildcats may be the most difficult team they'll see in the following months, and a Jan. 18 trip to Fruita will be very telling.

"We'll have our shot at their house," he said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball vs. Fruita Monument High School

Team — 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final

MCHS — 10 15 11 16 52

FMHS — 13 9 14 19 55

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