Rangely, Basalt pose threat to Lady ‘Dogs | CraigDailyPress.com

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Rangely, Basalt pose threat to Lady ‘Dogs

By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
Coach Craig Mortensen knows the difference between the seasons.
He knows a lot can change between summer and winter basketball that teams in-season are hungrier than they are during the off-season.
Mortensen will have courtside seats to see the difference in two schools the Lady Bulldogs faced this summer, when they take on the Rangely Lady Panthers Friday and Basalt Lady Longhorns on Saturday.
Both games are at home.
The Lady Bulldogs faced both teams during the summer season, and neither team’s performance inspired any terror in the girls.
Now the two Class 3A schools will do anything but put the Lady ‘Dogs at ease.
Rangely has proven its willingness to beat Class 4A teams, and the Lady Panthers have knocked off two of the Class 4A Western Slope teams in early season, beating Steamboat Springs 53-49 and Rifle 50-45.
“After this weekend we’ll have faced three team’s from the Class 3A Western Slope, and all of them are quality teams,” Mortensen said. “Rangely has shown how tough they are by beating the two schools in our conference, and we’d be just another feather in their cap. That’s if they win.”
When the Lady ‘Dogs play the Lady Panthers (4-1) Saturday night, they will face the most spread out offense they have seen this season.
Nearly every girl on the Rangely roaster has scored points during a game this season, and seven of the Lady Panthers have accumulated more than 20 points on the season.
The Panthers chief shooter is senior Sara Peacock with 42 points on the season.
Peacock is a danger from the outside, shooting 89 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Peacock is joined by seniors Arianne Morrison, Rylee Miller and Kim Cook, who have combined for 104 points, are the Panther’s primary offensive weapons.
The Lady Bulldogs will look to control the game from the defensive side of the court, and continue that attack throughout the game.
“I think we can handle them, even if they spread out their scoring,” Senior guard Amber Sanchez said. “We’ve got enough team quickness, and our guards should be able to shut down their outside game.”
When the Lady Bulldogs face Basalt, they will be facing last year’s Class 3A Western Slope second-place team, and a program that Mortensen describes as “salty.”
Unlike the Lady Panthers, the Lady Longhorns will look to go to four main girls who have scored most of the team’s 296 points.
Sophomore Autumn Caughern and Senior Molly McGrath are the Longhorns outside force, both finding success at shooting the three-pointer.
The Lady ‘Dogs will aim their defense at junior Mariah Mulcany and sophomore Laurn Redfern, both players average 11 points a game.
“Basalt is as quality of a Class 3A team as we’ll see this year,” Mortensen said. “They always give us a good game, and it’s been fairly close in the past. It’s just another chance for us to get better.”