MCHS Girls look to improve before league opener |

MCHS Girls look to improve before league opener

Nate Waggenspack

Bailey Hellander (right, in white) goes up to block teammate Jazmine Swindler's shot during a practice in the Moffat County High School gym. All three girls teams from MCHS played three games over the weekend in Vernal, Utah.

The first weekend of Moffat County girls basketball didn't quite go as planned.

With high expectations coming into the season, the girls traveled to Vernal, Utah, to play three games against 3A and 4A Utah high schools. While there were plenty of good takeaways from the opening games of the season, the results did not go in the Bulldogs' favor.

MCHS started out 0-2, losing to Logan High School, 51-47, Friday afternoon before falling to Wasatch High School, 41-29. They did manage to right the ship for their third game of the weekend, beating Uintah High School, 37-31.

Head coach Matt Ray said it was a middle-of-the-road performance.

"I would say we were average," Ray said. "I was hoping to be a little bit better than we were. Defensively I thought we did really well, but offensively we were a little sluggish. At times we just stood around and watched the action happen instead of being part of the action."

The Bulldogs' varsity team struggled with its shooting during the three games, going 38 percent, 18 percent and 37 percent from the field. Sometimes, that was a result of good defense being played.

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"We had the game against Wasatch where it was just a defensive battle," Ray said. "The first quarter was four to six. It was hard to get shots off. Then another game we shot 62 times, it was just our percentage was really low. There are some fundamental things we need to get better at, at game speed."

Game speed was Ray's biggest comment about the games, saying he didn't feel his team was as ready as it could have been to deal with game situations. As a result, that will be the focus in practice this week.

"I let them slide a little too much I think last week, and they were overconfident I think," he said. "Those two things turned into a little bit of a disaster for us offensively. This week, I'm not letting them slide. Hopefully it will pay off."

Now the varsity and junior varsity teams have two weeks off before their next game, a home-opener in the Western Slope League against Grand Valley High School. The freshman team will play at a tournament hosted by Olathe High School this Saturday.

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.

MCHS girls basketball…

Upcoming Games:

Freshman: 12 p.m. Dec. 8 at Olathe High School tournament

Junior Varsity: 3 p.m. Dec. 14 vs. Grand Valley

Varsity: 6 p.m. Dec. 14 vs. Grand Valley