Bulldogs’ post play dominates Wildcats
Moffat County defeats Fruita Monument, 67-42
The tallest player on the Fruita Monument girls basketball team’s roster is 5-foot-8. Moffat County starts three players who are taller, and the Bulldogs took advantage of the height difference Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs post players, 5-foot-10 sophomore Markie Workman and 6-foot-5 junior Cayla Maneotis, combined for 40 points in a 67-42 victory.
“We’re a below-average team when it comes to size,” Fruita coach Jeffrey Miller said. “I thought we did a good job boxing out, but when you’re boxing out a 6-5 girl she can still get rebounds.”
Maneotis scored a career-high 24 points and also had five blocks.
“Our guards did a good job recognizing the advantage we had inside tonight,” Moffat coach Craig Mortensen said. “We need to be more aggressive on the perimeter, but tonight we just had to get it inside.”
The Bulldogs led throughout the game, but poor shooting in the first half kept the Wildcats in the game.
The Bulldogs shot 26 percent from the field in the first half. Offensive rebounds (11) and defensive pressure (eight steals) kept Moffat in control, and it finished the half in the lead, 27-18.
“At halftime, Mort challenged us to play better defense but to stop fouling as much,” sophomore guard Angie Charchalis said.
The guards answered the challenge, creating six consecutive turnovers in the first three minutes of the third quarter. The turnovers led to an 18-4 run in the quarter.
“They stepped up the defense and earned some easy baskets in the third quarter,” Mortensen said.
The Moffat County underclassmen dominated the scoring Tuesday. In addition to Maneotis and Workman’s 40 points, junior Ashleigh Mann added nine points and the underclassmen combined for 53 of the team’s points. The three seniors, Jessica Uecker, Mari Katherine Raftopoulos and Cortney Grandbouche combined for 14 points.
This year on offense, the trend for the Bulldogs has been to have no trend at all. Maneotis was the fourth Bulldog in five games to lead the team in scoring this year.
“The girls have done a good job recognizing who is playing well,” Mortensen said. “Tonight it was our girls inside. They’re getting better down there.”
Fruita senior Erin Richar-dson led her team with 20 points. She was the only Wildcat in double figures.
Moffat County improved to 5-0 and will play in its second out-of-state tournament of the season starting Thursday. The varsity and JV teams will each play games in the Flaming Gorge Tournament in Rock Springs, Wyo., on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The varsity’s first game is scheduled to be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
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Routt County is working with both Rio Blanco and Moffat counties and municipalities across northwestern Colorado to create an umbrella organization to better coordinate and pursue economic development in the region.