Fourth quarter key for girls
It took the Moffat County girls basketball team three quarters to adjust to not having senior Mari Katherine Raftopoulos. Once that happened, it was smooth sailing against Steamboat for a 51-23 win.
Moffat coach Craig Mortensen said he knew that without one of his key players, the game could be a struggle. Raft–opoulos miss–ed all week because of illness, and he asked his team to step up and fill the void.
Defense was the word as the Sailors failed to get on the board until the second quarter.
The Bulldog girls also got off to a slow start, scoring a season-low five points in the first quarter.
“We were a little edgy at first” junior Ashleigh Mann said. “A little nervous.”
Bulldog junior Cayla Maneotis broke the ice with two quick baskets just before the quarter ended.
Twenty seconds into the second quarter, Erin Gleason got the Sailors on the scoreboard with a nice 20-footer, but Moffat County’s Markie Workman answered quickly with a long shot of her own.
That started a run by the Bulldogs as Jessica Uecker laid in a 2-pointer, followed by a Mann 3-pointer.
Both teams picked up the offense in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs matched most of Steamboat’s baskets.
At halftime, the Bulldogs were up, 21-14. Maneotis led the way with seven points.
The second half belonged to Charchalis.
She led off with a twenty foot shot and never looked back. She drained two, 3-pointers and caused several turnovers by Sailor guards.
Jorgiea Raftopoulos would make a 3 of her own as the Bulldogs outscored Steamboat, 20-4, in the fourth quarter.
Sailor coach Ashley Berggren was proud of the way her girls came out Friday.
She specifically mentioned leading scorer Tara King, who had 10 points.
“She’s a competitor,” she said. “Every game she plays her best. We just couldn’t get our shots to fall.”
Mortensen noted that once they started playing as a team, things really opened up.
“We didn’t want to force it,” he said. “Cayla had a good game defensively. They couldn’t get inside, and she had a couple big rebounds.”
He also credited Workman for being a great player and Jessica Uecker for her leadership.
Jorgiea Raftopoulos said she thought the upperclassmen made her feel welcome during her first start. She finished the night with eight points.
Charchalis led the team with 14 points, and Maneotis had 11.
Steamboat, 3-7 in the Western Slope League and 5-13 overall, and Moffat, 10-0, 18-0, will play Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley next weekend.
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