Moffat County girls basketball stomps Sargent, readies for highly ranked Centauri
LA JARA — After some early appetizers, Moffat County High School girls basketball is all set for the main course.
Lady Bulldogs improved to 2-0 Friday with a decisive victory against Sargent in the second round of the Mountain Top Classic.
The 2A opponents, the Farmers, had a barren first half as the Lady Dogs wasted no time compiling a 19-0 first quarter and kept going from there.
Moffat County held a 40-0 lead at halftime, and though Sargent was able to avoid the shutout and get in double digits in the second half, there was no closing the gap with a 57-11 final tally for the Craig crew.
Every member of the varsity roster put up points in the game, with freshman Halle Hamilton adding 11 to the score, as well as five for six in free throws.
Madie Weber also posted 11 against the Farmers, a score which she and fellow senior Tiffany Hildebrandt hit in the group’s first game a day earlier.
MCHS girls opened the schedule Thursday with a 62-41 W against Montezuma Cortez, and coach Jim Loughran noted that he took pride that both matches allowed him to cycle in every player and that all of them scored.
Admittedly, the game against the Panthers started “sloppy” with Moffat’s early shooting off the mark, only hitting three of 14 first quarter free throws.
“We turned the ball over quite a bit on traveling,” Loughran said. “It was just about getting back in the swing of things.”
He added that the enormous first half effort with Sargent showed him athletes were on track, prompting him to pump the brakes a bit.
“It was over at halftime. We don’t need to demoralize other teams,” he said.
The true test of Lady Dogs’ talents is yet to come.
Moffat County girls will round out the three-day tournament in La Jara against the home squad, the Centauri Falcons.
While MCHS was ranked fifth in pre-season standings from Colorado High School Activities Association, Centauri was seventh on the list. Like the Bulldogs, the Falcons attended the Great 8 round of the 2017-18 state tournament, finishing the year 21-3 with a quarterfinal loss to Colorado Springs Christian. The Lions went on to best Moffat County in the Final 4 after the Bulldogs — who completed the season 20-7 — upset No. 1 Kent Denver.
As for the new season, Centauri opened their home tourney against Sargent with their own blowout, 63-28. They faced MoCo’s fellow 3A Western Slope League team Olathe Friday afternoon, pounding the Pirates 57-16 to also record a 2-0 start.
In a tournament that’s seen wide margins each round, Olathe is 1-1 after the second day loss, which followed a big win on Day 1, 70-30, over Las Animas.
The matchup with Centauri is the one Loughran has been anticipating.
“It’s going to be two teams that run similar offenses, a lot of pressure,” he said. “It should be a fun game.”