Moffat County hoops loses first round of state tourney, 61-32 | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County hoops loses first round of state tourney, 61-32

MCHS girls to meet Centauri in Friday consolation game

Moffat County High School's Josey King looks to score during a home game with Coal Ridge. The Lady Bulldogs were defeated by Lutheran High School, 61-32, in the Great 8 round of the 3A state playoffs Thursday. They will face Centauri Friday in the consolation rounds.

In their past few games, the members of the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team have crossed swords with pirates, exorcised demons and stared down a herd of buffalo, but they finally met their match when it came time to tame some lions.

The Lady Bulldogs were knocked out of championship contention in the Great 8 round of the 3A state playoffs, losing, 61-32, to Parker's Lutheran High School in a Thursday afternoon game at Colorado School of Mines in Golden.

Lutheran, now 24-1, jumped in front quickly, as leading scorer Kaleigh Paplow and teammates went to work, ahead, 19-9, at the end of the first quarter, MCHS called for many fouls in the process.

The Moffat County crew wouldn't be intimidated, however, and the second period saw them claw their way back, coming to within two points, 22-20, thanks to tenacious rebounding and careful shooting from Leah Camilletti, Morgan Lawton and Mattie Jo Duzik.

This was what should have been the turning point, coach Sam McLeod said.

"We had some really good momentum going, but we just made some really bad decisions at the end of the half," he said.

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The Lions roared back against the Bulldog bark to score eight unanswered points to make it 30-20.

As ready as Moffat County players were headed out of the locker room, Lutheran was prepared, creating havoc in the third quarter, putting together an 18-point run before the Lady Dogs began to slow them down, the Lions commanding a 50-23 lead by the end of the quarter, leading to a fourth in MCHS couldn't come back for all their effort.

McLeod pointed to Lutheran's neutralization of defensive assets Kayla Pinnt and Katia Voloshin as keys to the loss.

"Those two really determine the tone of our defense," he said.

Though much of the game amounted to playing catch-up, the girls "played their tails off," he added.

Camilletti had 11 points, Lawton eight, Duzik five, Charli Earle four, and Hannah Walker and Katelyn Peroulis both with two.

As the 2014 2A state champion Lions look to carry over their title in a bigger division, the 19-6 Lady Dogs will move on to the consolation bracket, scheduled to play the 17-7 Centauri Falcons at 11:45 a.m. Friday. Centauri, hailing from La Jara, handed MCHS's Western Slope foes Olathe a 48-45 defeat in the Sweet 16 round before losing, 48-33, to Pagosa Springs Thursday.

With a win, Moffat County will head to a game Saturday morning that will determine the fifth- and sixth-place teams in the state.

"They've got to show what they can do, I don't think today was indicative of how good they are and how they can finish," McLeod said Thursday evening. "They're ready to go out and play tomorrow."

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

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