Rematch rout: Moffat County girls basketball decimates Delta to move into district finals
GRAND JUNCTION — Cross a dog the wrong way, and it may bite you the next time you see it. For Lady Bulldog basketball, there’s no maybe about it.
Moffat County High School girls moved to the next round of the 3A Western Slope League district tournament Friday with a 45-29 win against the Delta Panthers.
The Lady Dogs guaranteed themselves a shot at their sixth straight district and also secured a spot in next week’s regional rounds, but perhaps more important was settling some unfinished business.
It was the third rematch this season for MCHS girls against a team that had bested them and the third time they’ve redeemed themselves.
Just like Soroco and Olathe, the Panthers — who overtook the Bulldogs 54-25 Feb. 16 — were on the receiving end of a second-chance beatdown by a Moffat County roster that had stepped up its game and learned from its past mistakes.
It was Delta who put up four points to start, but after an eight-point run compiled by Kinlie Brennise, Jana Camilletti, Brooke Gumber and Tiffany Hildebrandt, Lady Dogs were firmly in front the rest of the night, ahead 12-6 after one quarter and 28-20 at halftime.
The Bulldog pain train was going full steam in the third period, as they neutralized any chance the Panthers had of catching up with only two Delta free throws and no field goals as Moffat County was up 37-22.
“We were a completely different team, we’ve grown exponentially,” coach Kenley Nebeker said. “It’s amazing how much the girls have grown, and it starts on the defensive end. They’re getting into people, making their lives miserable. They’re enjoying it, I’m enjoying it, everyone else hates it, so we’ll take it.”
A physical Panther presence led to multiple trips to the foul line, eight for Camilletti and six for Hildebrandt, the team 22 for 32 as a whole.
The solo time at the stripe made a difference, Hildebrandt said, although it was everyone being in sync that truly showed their improvement.
“We were just really competitive tonight and really cooperating,” she said.
Camilletti had 17 points, Hildy 11 and Gumber nine. Emaleigh Papierski and Jaci McDiffett each hit one free throw, while Brennise, Quinn Pinnt and Jaidyn Steele each had one bucket.
Though Steele only scored once, it may have been the play of the game. She poked away a pass at half court in the third quarter, which Delta recovered only for Pinnt to steal it back and feed it to a wide-open Steele in the paint in a well-executed fastbreak.
The quick pace and defensive confidence are what she expects to carry on from here.
“We’re going to have to come out just as strong as we did today, and I think we’ll be good,” Steele said.
Moffat County girls improved to 16-5 overall, with their championship game against the Cardinals — 15-6 after a 31-26 win over Cedaredge — at noon Saturday at Grand Junction’s Central High School with the winner securing a home-court advantage for the regional round of the 3A state tournament.
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