Moffat County girls hoops heads to Front Range for regional rounds
It’s unfamiliar territory in multiple respects for Moffat County High School girls basketball players, but if they can get past the following weekend, they’ll be back in the sweet embrace of the final rounds of the state tournament.
MCHS travels Friday to the Front Range to Eaton for the Round of 32 in the 3A Colorado High School Activities Association state tournament, for which the 12th-seeded Lady Bulldogs will face Greeley school University, 21st in the field.
University — also a Bulldog team — is 13-9 overall, finishing fourth in the 3A Patriot League with a 49-42 loss to Resurrection Christian in the conference’s district round.
Hosting school Eaton is ranked fifth in the tournament, 21-1 this season, with the Reds winning the Patriot’s league title at 10-0, followed by a championship at their district tourney with a 45-33 victory against Platte Valley.
Eaton’s first opponent for this weekend is MCHS’s Western Slope League foes, Coal Ridge, No. 28 in the field at 11-9.
Six of the WSL’s 10 teams are in the mix for state, though only conference champ Delta (21-1) will be one of the host sites, ranked fourth, bringing in No. 29 Lake County, 13th SkyView Academy and 20th Middle Park.
Just ahead of MoCo and also boasting a 17-5 record, 11th-seeded Cedaredge meets No. 22 Prospect Ridge Academy (15-8) at sixth-seeded Lutheran (18-4).
Elsewhere, No. 23 Roaring Fork (11-9) meets No. 10 Centauri (16-6) in a round hosted at seventh-ranked The Academy (21-1).
Rounding out the Western Slope are the Grand Valley Cardinals, seeded 14th at 16-6, traveling to No. 3 Pagosa Springs (19-2), seeing The Vanguard Academy, placed 19th at 14-8.
Moffat County defeated Grand Valley 47-27 this past weekend to take third in the WSL’s district tournament, the Bulldogs on the rebound from a 30-27 loss to Cedaredge.
The defeat to the Bruins marked the first loss MCHS girls have experienced in the 3A Western Slope district event, giving up the crown for the first time since a run from 2013 to 2018.
MCHS coach Jim Loughran said the team had a cold shooting day against Cedaredge.
“Girls played good defense against them, but we couldn’t hit a basket inside or outside. Just not a good day for us,” Loughran said. “We had a much better day against Grand Valley. Seniors really stepped up for us, offense stepped up and we were a lot smarter as a team. We get good rebounds, take care of the ball and cut down on turnovers, usually we’re gonna win.”
The showing against the Cardinals was an indicator that even if they won’t be hosting for regionals, Lady Bulldogs aren’t done with the postseason by any means, Loughran said.
“Wherever we go, we’ll play,” he said.
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