Bulldog basketball teams tame Cougars | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldog basketball teams tame Cougars

The Moffat County High School girls and boys basketball teams went into Evergreen on Saturday with expectations of close games. The boys found what they expected, and the girls played well enough early to keep their game from being close.

The boys team needed overtime to defeat the Cougars, 46-43. Coach Mike LeWarne gave credit to his team’s defensive efforts and assistant coaches in the win.

“When you hold a team like Evergreen to 43 points you’ve done something right,” he said. “I have to give credit to (assistant coaches) Jeff (Simon) and Todd (Trapp) for preparing the team.”

Simon coached Palisade when its offense was the same that Evergreen runs. He helped prepare the boys during practice by showing them what to expect. Trapp served as the Cougar’s highest scorer, Bobby Blackstock, in practice all week.

Blackstock scored in double digits in the first three games of the season, all against Class 5A competition. On Saturday night, he scored six points with junior Derek Duran guarding him.

The Bulldogs were up by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter, but three consecutive turnovers allowed the Cougars back into the game. Missed free throws also allowed Evergreen a chance to tie the game late. The Bulldogs missed four shots from the free-throw line in the last 30 seconds.

“It was deflating that we were up by so much and then we let them back in it,” LeWarne said. “In the huddle before overtime, I could tell we were down. That’s a hard place to play, so I just told them there was no way they could let up at that point.”

The Bulldogs scored five points in overtime and held the Cougars to two for the victory.

Junior Jarrod Holmlund led all scorers with 15 points.

“Jarrod and Kevin (Loughran) experienced one of the most physical games we’ve ever seen down low,” LeWarne said. “Those guys took it as a challenge since nothing was going to be called and they played well.”

Loughran finished with six points.

Girls win easily

The girls’ team defense kept the Cougars under double digits in the first and second quarters to open up a 31-16 halftime lead on the way to a 63-40 win.

“Defensively, we kept them from getting good looks,” coach Craig Mortensen said. “We were up 10-2 and stayed in control from there.”

According to Mortensen, the Bulldogs broke the Cougars’ press early in the game.

“We broke their press, and it made for some easy baskets for Erin Robinson,” he said.

Robinson finished with eight points.

Seven Bulldogs scored, led by senior Brandie Telfer’s 17 points. Freshman Angie Charchalis was the only other Bulldog in double figures with 12 points.

Mortensen said he continues to be impressed by his team’s balance and the ability of every player to contribute.

The girls improved to 4-0 for the season. They will travel to Rifle Friday and Saturday for the Western Slope League tournament.

The girls play Delta at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The boys team is 2-1 and is the host of the WSL tournament. The team plays Delta at 8:15 p.m. Friday.

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