MCHS girls finish tournament with solid showing against Wasatch |

MCHS girls finish tournament with solid showing against Wasatch

Ben Bulkeley

After five games in two days, Craig Mortensen, Moffat County High School girls basketball coach, knows a little more about his young team.

For one, some rest might be in order.

“They’re tired, it’s summer, they looked a little sluggish today,” he said Saturday. “They didn’t pop as much today. It was more like they were playing in sand, not on the hardwood.”

Moffat County hosted teams from Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Buena Vista, Wasatch and Rangely in a summer basketball tournament.

Moffat County defeated Wasatch, 33-24, in the final game of the tournament. MCHS finished with three wins and two losses overall.

The Lady Dogs, with a younger, new-look roster, will have their work cut out for them before the season starts, Mortensen said.

“We learned what each kid needs to work on,” he said. “They’re aware of what they need to do.

“Each player needs to improve their athleticism and overall basketball game.”

On Friday, the team used a press defense, which created confusion for the most part, Mortensen said.

“Half the time they were confused, the other half of the time we were confused,” Mortensen said. “It got confusing in general.”

For the final game Saturday, the team used a zone defense to knock the ball loose and ran it underneath to Lauren Roberts, who finished with a team-high 12 points.

When Roberts wasn’t in the post, the ball was given to Lindsey Yoast, who netted eight points in the paint.

“We have a system, and the girls know the system,” Mortensen said. “They have bought into it, and we just want to see how the individual combinations work. We’ll just take it quarter by quarter, game by game.”

For the tournament, the varsity squad had only nine players. As practice continues, Mortensen will bring girls up from the junior varsity team.

“We want to look at a different combination of girls,” he said. “Maybe a girl who plays post on the JV team will play on the perimeter for us. We want to try out a lot of girls at different positions.

“We will definitely have some depth this season.”

Part of that depth will come from Britteny Ivers, a junior up from the JV squad.

Last year, Ivers logged some minutes on the varsity team, but said she will need to keep working to make the transition easier.

“This is harder,” she said. “We all need to work more. I will probably need to get stronger.”

Ivers said she would work on her ball-handling and shooting as she makes the jump to the varsity team.

“It’s more competitive, more intense,” she said. “Everyone has better fundamentals.”

Where Ivers has excelled thus far is with her court awareness, she said.

“Just knowing where everyone is going to be, and trying to help people get open,” she said.

Callie Papoulas, a junior wing, said the tournament taught her team numerous things.

“What I learned was, we need to work harder,” she said. “We need to work harder to win; we can’t be lazy.

“Overall, as a team, we played pretty good.”

For Papoulas, the summer will be spent in front of a hoop.

“I need to work on my shooting – I need to correct it,” she said. “As Coach Mort says, it works, but it’s not pretty.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or

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