Moffat County girls roll past Coal Ridge in Friday road game | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County girls roll past Coal Ridge in Friday road game

NEW CASTLE — The bigger the streak in conference play, the more top teams have to keep looking over their shoulder. Still, the Moffat County High School girls basketball team was able to relax a little bit by the end of Friday night.

Lady Bulldogs moved to 4-0 in the 3A Western Slope League with a 53-46 road win over Coal Ridge.

The Titans were fresh off their first league victory earlier in the week — defeating the Grand Valley Cardinals by almost exactly the same score at 53-47 — and were eager to build on their progress.

A back-and-forth opening half kept spectators guessing as the Lady Dogs led 10-9 after the first quarter and teams were tied at 24 to send them off the court at halftime.

Coal Ridge’s Santana Martinez put up a bucket to give Titans the advantage to start the third period, while on the other end, Taylor Wiescamp was shutting down Bulldog shooting with one block after another, though Moffat County’s Brooke Gumber returned the favor against Wisecamp seconds later.

Scoring remained close as could be, 40-39 MCHS at the end of the third, but the Titans’ overzealous defense backfired in the final eight minutes, sending Kinlie Brennise to the foul line four times, as she nailed six of eight shots. Emaleigh Papierski and Jana Camilletti combined for three more free throws in the quarter to keep the lead going, and the Bulldog D limited Coal Ridge to only seven more points to move toward the win.

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Brennise and Camilletti each had 13 points, Gumber eight and Madie Weber six.

“We really battled back for that one,” Weber said.

Hitting 21 of 32 from the charity stripe was an indicator that players know how to focus at clutch moments, said coach Kenley Nebeker.

As for the first half, the Titans’ early use of a full-court defense was a strategy that affected his athletes but not nearly as much as Coal Ridge girls, whom he could tell were running out of steam sooner than they’d wanted.

“That press will wear on you,” he said. “We didn’t execute well in the first half, but we turned it around.”

MCHS girls travel Saturday to Basalt to face a Longhorn squad that’s 4-10 overall and 1-3 WSL, Friday night taking a 47-36 loss to Roaring Fork.