Moffat County girls basketball charged up after win over Rangely
MEEKER — The jolt came a bit later than the Moffat County High School girls varsity basketball team would have liked, but the energy eventually started going their way to earn a win in their first game of the season.
The Lady Bulldogs ended Thursday’s opener of the White River Electric Cowboy Shootout with a 50-41 victory against Rangely, which was not without resistance by the Panthers.
The first time back on the court for a true game saw Moffat County struggle at the start with their shooting, which was also the case for their opponents. Still, it was Rangely’s Katelyn Brown who struck first with a three-pointer about two minutes into the game.
Kinlie Brennise swished a free throw for the Bulldogs’ first entry on the scoreboard, followed by another go at the charity stripe Brooke Gumber.
Buckets by Jaidyn Steele and Quinn Pinnt came next, but Rangely held a slim lead at 7-6 to close the first quarter.
The Lady Dogs attacked the hoop heavily in the second period, but they only sunk five shots of 24 attempts in the eight minutes.
“That may have been the record for us in missed layups,” coach Kenley Nebeker said.
Gumber, who was blocking Rangely shots with ease on one end of the court, picked up three baskets in a row late in the half, easily snatching rebounds on offense to put them back up for points.
MCHS led 17-16 at halftime, but a game that had seen neither side ahead by more than four points started to change for the Bulldogs, who capitalized on a 10-8 third quarter to bust loose in the fourth, holding their greatest advantage at 41-25 as Gumber, Brennise, Madie Weber, Jana Camilletti and Jaci McDiffett started to gain momentum.
Though Rangely was almost able to make up the difference in fouls — 13 for 15 in fourth quarter free throws — Moffat County’s clock control let them stay in front to start the schedule 1-0.
“The energy really picked up, which is what we talked about at half,” Nebeker said. “There’s certain things you can control, sometimes you can control when the ball goes through the hoop, but you can always control your energy and your defensive effort, so I was very happy with that.”
Gumber led scoring with 15 points, which she credited to great assists from teammates when she was right beneath the basket.
“It was all about having a soft touch on it, and the guards were giving a good feed,” she said. “It was a great way to start the season.”
Brennise followed with 11 points, McDiffett seven, Camilletti six, Tiffany Hildebrandt five and Pinnt, Steele and Weber two apiece.
The second round of the Cowboy Shootout pits Moffat County against Soroco at 6 p.m. Friday and Cedaredge against Meeker. The Bruins trounced Aspen 52-8, while the hosting Lady Cowboys moved to the next portion of the championship bracket with a 51-20 defeat of Moffat County’s junior varsity squad, who will meet Grand Valley in the JV tournament.
Several JV players were in the rotation for both Thursday games, and Nebeker noted he was glad the entire varsity bench got in the game.
“We want to do that more and more and make sure we get them more experience,” he said. “Girls are working hard. They’re gamers, and I love that about them.”