Moffat County girls hold numbers advantage over Great 8 opponents | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County girls hold numbers advantage over Great 8 opponents

Lady Bulldogs ready for rematch with Lutheran Lions

There can be only one.

The top 16 teams of 3A basketball — eight boys, eight girls — take to the floor of the Denver Coliseum Thursday morning to determine who will see another round in the competition for the state championship and who will settle for middle of the pack.

The Lutheran Lions, of Parker, stand in the way of the Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School Lady Bulldogs and the Final Four for the second year in a row, and this time things will turn out a bit differently. Lady Bulldogs and the Final Four for the second year in a row, and this time things will turn out a bit differently.

Moffat County High School Lady Bulldogs and the Final Four for the second year in a row, and this time things will turn out a bit differently.

Teams side by side

The 2014-15 season saw the Lady Dogs enter the Great 8 as the sixth seed to Lutheran's No. 3, which is also where both teams ultimately finished by the end of the weekend.

The Lady Lions took a 61-32 win that day to send MCHS into the consolation brackets, where the Bulldogs beat Centauri and lost to Eaton.

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If the circumstances are right, Moffat County girls could have the exact same schedule as last season, hopefully meeting the Falcons and Reds in the semifinals and finals rather than the consolation rounds.

But, that's all irrelevant until they play Lutheran, the No. 2 Lions boys following the girls on the court by taking on the only other remaining Western Slope League school, Grand Valley, ranked seventh.

At fourth in CHSAA'sCHSAA’s seeding system, MCHS has a slightly better record of 21-3 to No. 5 Lutheran’s 20-4, though the Lions swept the Metro League, 9-0, while the Bulldogs took a loss in Olathe to go 13-1 in the WSL. seeding system, MCHS has a slightly better record of 21-3 to No. 5 Lutheran's 20-4, though the Lions swept the Metro League, 9-0, while the Bulldogs took a loss in Olathe to go 13-1 in the WSL.

CHSAA's seeding system, MCHS has a slightly better record of 21-3 to No. 5 Lutheran's 20-4, though the Lions swept the Metro League, 9-0, while the Bulldogs took a loss in Olathe to go 13-1 in the WSL.

The Lions haven't lost a game since Jan. 9 and were undefeated at home, though they were 2-5 in tournament play in December, whereas Moffat County took only one loss at the Dog House in the season opener against Fruita Monument and have yet to taste defeat in a tournament setting.

What may be most revealing is the one opponent they've had in common.

Lutheran defeated the WSL's Coal Ridge, 67-27, in the Round of 32 to advance to the Sweet 16, while MCHS girls' defeats of the Titans have been much more sizable with margins of 58, 66 and 55 in the three times they've met.

It's also worth mentioning that by MaxPreps' estimates, the Bulldogs average 66.2 points per game to Lutheran's 55.4MaxPreps’ estimates, the Bulldogs average 66.2 points per game to Lutheran’s 55.4, MCHS second in 3A in the total, as well as eighth in any division., MCHS second in 3A in the total, as well as eighth in any division.

MaxPreps' estimates, the Bulldogs average 66.2 points per game to Lutheran's 55.4, MCHS second in 3A in the total, as well as eighth in any division.

Players by the numbers

Besides points, the Lady Bulldogs have the advantage over the Lions in categories including rebounds (33.2 per game to 20.7), assists (14.9 to 10) and blocks (1.9 to 1.3).

The most glaring difference is in the two teams' ability to take away the ball, and while the Lions manage seven steals per game, MCHS averages 21.3, with an aggregate 512, more than any girls team in Colorado.

With 19 takeaways in the past weekend, Kayla Pinnt accounts for 125 of the 512 steals, the leader of 3A and second in the state in totals.

Kristen Vigil is the leader for Lutheran in steals with 60 total and 2.5 per game to Pinnt's 5.7.

Vigil shines in scoring for the Lions, as well, 393 total points to her name, leading Moffat County's Leah Camilletti, who has 362.

Even so, Camilletti remains the most accurate 3A shooter when it comes to three-pointers with a 48-percent success rate, second across the state, while Vigil and teammate Morgan Barone are each shooting 34 percent outside.

Natalia Waldon averages 4.4 rebounds for Lutheran with 102 total, a number Moffat County's Morgan Lawton has more than doubled with 245, tied for third among 3A players.

A shot at the title

Whichever team wins Thursday will advance to the semifinals, facing the victor between Centauri and Pagosa Springs, the top seed, the only undefeated team and the defending champions of 3A basketball.

Assuming the Great 8 games each go to the higher seed, the other half of the brackets will likely be filled by Manitou Springs and Sterling in the Final Four, each as hungry as any other school to knock Pagosa Springs off their pedestal.

The Lady Bulldogs' game with Lutheran begins at 8:45 a.m. at the Denver Coliseum. For those unable to attend in person, a live stream of games will be available at http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/chsaahttp://www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/chsaa..

http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/chsaa.

The community is encouraged to attend a send-off at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday at MCHS, 900 Finley Lane, before the team heads to Denver.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.