Moffat County girls beat Olathe for 2nd straight district title
Girls scoring vs. Olathe
Allie Ehlers 13
Leah Camilletti 8
Jazmine Swindler 7
Katelyn Peroulis 5
Morgan Lawton 5
Cheianne Pinnt 4
Lauren Samuelson 3
Craig — For a second straight season, the Moffat County girls basketball team beat Olathe to win the 3A Western Slope District Championship.
While the same two teams were playing for the title, both got there on the strength of different players from a year ago. For Moffat County, this new group of players was good enough to get the job done again.
“We started to work as a team, and our defense brought us through a lot of games,” senior Allie Ehlers said about the team’s hot streak. “We really wanted this one, too.”
The defense was solid for the entire game against Olathe, but the biggest play the Bulldogs made on defense came after Jazmine Swindler went to the line with four seconds left in regulation and Moffat County up 45-44.
Swindler missed the front end of the one free-throw attempt and Olathe rebounded the ball, but Leah Camilletti intercepted the Pirates’ outlet pass and was fouled with four-tenths of a second left. Camilletti would sink both foul shots, but her anticipation on the prior play was what sealed the game.
“Late in the fourth quarter up one, up two, that’s when great players step up and that’s what our girls did,” coach Matt Ray said. “They weren’t going to be denied.”
After falling behind, 12-7, to start the game, the Bulldogs closed the first quarter on a 7-1 run and led the rest of the way but couldn’t shake the Pirates. Olathe used penetration to score in the first half and then got strong individual offense in the second half from Payton Grett to cut into every Bulldog lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Moffat County held a six-point lead and spread out near midcourt, appearing to stall with lots of time left in the game. Ray and Ehlers both said they were trying to force the Pirates out of their tightly packed defense to create cutting and passing lanes.
“Once we had the lead, I said we really wanted to work the ball around,” Ray said. “With that, we were trying to get them to come out and put pressure on us to make driving lanes. It seemed like we had to work for everything we got today, we were trying to force the issue with them there.”
Whatever the tactic, Olathe didn’t bite and was able to close the gap the rest of the way, pulling within two on a 3 from Grett. The Olathe junior then was fouled with five seconds left but made just one of two from the line, forcing the Pirates to foul, where the Bulldogs were able to secure the district championship.
“It feels really good to have it as a senior,” Ehlers said.
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.
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