Scrimmages help prepare basketball players |

Scrimmages help prepare basketball players

David Pressgrove

The score isn’t kept and game uniforms aren’t worn, but the pre-season scrimmages for high school basketball teams do have significance.

“For the most part, I liked what I saw,” Moffat County High School girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen said after his varsity and JV teams scrimmaged in Grand Junction on Saturday. “We didn’t play the best competition, but we were able to try a lot of different things.”

The boys team was without two returning starters, juniors Kevin Loughran and Derek Duran, because of the late football season. Even with those two players, coach Mike LeWarne said that after what he saw, his team needed some defensive help.

“Last year, we had a very good defensive team,” he said. “Right now, we’re very far from that level.”

The boys were in Aspen for the pre-season warm-up. They had a chance to play Basalt, their opening opponent this Friday.

“Basalt handed it to us,” LeWarne said. “We saw some things we can exploit, but it will be a tough opener. Basalt returns everybody from a team we beat by 11 last year.”

The girls are heading to Vernal, Utah, this weekend, so they didn’t get a sneak peek at any upcoming opponents.

They faced Grand Valley, Montrose and Debeque.

“Montrose is young, and the other two schools are smaller,” Mortensen said. “We used several different lineups and were successful. We are going to have depth to be able to do that this year.”

The Vernal trip for the girls traditionally has been against some of the better teams in Utah.

“It will be a challenging start,” Mortensen said about the tournament with Ogden, Vernal and Wasatch.

With the former football players returning for practice this week, the boys will have some work to do before their first official tip-off.

“We have some work to do with conditioning,” LeWarne said. “Teams couldn’t stick with us inside, so that is what will be our strength early.”

David Pressgrove can be reached at 970-824-7031, ext. 211, or

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