MCHS girls basketball team working on patience in prep for WSL play |

MCHS girls basketball team working on patience in prep for WSL play

Joshua Gordon
Maddy Jourgensen
David Pressgrove

Maddy Jourgensen, a Moffat County High School senior, pivots and gets ready to pass during the Bulldogs’ game against the host team of the Palisade Tournament. Head coach Matt Ray hopes to prepare his squad as it prepares to begin league play Jan. 8.
David Pressgrove

After opening the season 6-4, Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball coach Matt Ray is still pushing his girls to work hard and improve.

“I am still having the girls work on their fundamentals, such as shooting and staying in shape,” Ray said. “They work hard and they need to stay in control the rest of the season.”

The girls team practiced most days this week and will continue next week during winter break.

Although Ray described his team as well-rounded, he said the Bulldogs’ biggest weakness is patience.

“I am trying to coach them not to expect things to just happen,” Ray said. “Things won’t always go right the first time, so they need to keep working when they don’t.”

The team has played in three tournaments thus far in the season. MCHS went 2-1 in the Uintah High School Tournament, 1-2 at the Steamboat Springs Shootout, and 2-1 at the Palisade Tournament.

Three of the four losses the team has suffered this year have been by a combined 11 points.

Again, Ray said patience plays into the equation.

“Of three games we lost, we turned the ball over,” he said. “If we had been more patient, we may have won all three of those games.”

On his roster, Ray has five seniors — Nike Cleverly, Brittany Ivers, Maddy Jourgensen, Callie Papoulas and Lauren Roberts.

Because of those seniors, Ray said he has had to coach a little less.

“The seniors are very important because they come to work hard every practice,” he said. “They set the tempo every day, and that helps me out a lot.”

For the underclassmen, Ray said he has been pleased with the way they have stepped up.

“Minus the five seniors, we are a very young team,” he said. “The younger girls take advantage of the playing time they get and I think they are definitely up to the challenge of playing varsity basketball.”

When the girls return to play Jan. 8 against Glenwood Springs High School, Ray said the team will start on one of their top goals — winning the Western Slope League.

“We start league play against Glenwood (Springs) when we get back, and they are a very good team,” Ray said. “Winning league is a top priority, and I think we have a good chance.”