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4A Districts: Rifle boys, girls fall to Moffat County

GRAND JUNCTION – After two poor games in the Class 4A, District 7 tournament, the Rifle boys basketball team hopes the next round of playoffs will be different.

The No. 1-seeded Bears suffered their second straight tournament loss in a row with a 54-39 defeat to Moffat County, the No. 3 seed, in Saturday’s third-place game at Mesa State College.

Bulldog guard Pablo Loya generated most of the offense for Moffat County with 35 points, which included 6 3-pointers.



A bad start put Rifle in a deep hole.

The Bears were down 16-6 at the end of the first quarter and never led in the contest.



Ryan Shideler scored 17 points in the loss for Rifle. No other Bear finished in double figures.

By finishing fourth in the tournament, the Bears have locked in on one of the five available state playoff berths from the eight-team tournament. However, its fourth-place finish guarantees Rifle will begin the state playoffs on the road.

Montezuma-Cortez, the defending 4A state boys champion, won the district title on a 76-48 mauling of No. 4-seed Steamboat Springs.

Steamboat advanced to the championship game by upsetting Rifle, 48-38, in Friday’s semifinals.

Montrose earned the final state playoff spot by defeating Glenwood Springs 74-54 for fifth place Saturday afternoon.

Moffat County 62, Rifle 42

Moffat County 16 17 13 16-62

Rifle 5 12 13 12-42

MOFFAT COUNTY – Kelvin Grinolds 0 0-0 0, Brian Skowronski 1 2-2 4, Cody Palmer 0 2-2 2, Joe Padon 2 4-4 9, Derek Duran 0 2-4 2, Pablo Loya 9 11-14 35, Kevin Loughran 1 1-2 3, Jared Lowther 0 0-0 0, George Raftopoulos 0 0-0 0, Kyle Eitel 0 0-0 0, Chance Buckner 0 0-0 0, Anthony Loughran 3 0-0 7. Totals – 16 22-28 62.

RIFLE – Troy Weiss 1 0-0 3, Adam Krick 1 0-2 2, Jim Owens 2 2-2 7, Ryan Shideler 6 4-6 17, Chris Black 1 0-0 3, Jason Enewold 0 0-0 0, Aaron Jewell 1 1-2 3, Travis Jensen 0 0-0 0, Zack Akin 1 0-0 2, Thad Porter 2 1-4 5. Totals – 15 8-16 42.

3-Pointers – Loya 6, A. Loughran, Padon; Weiss, Krick, Owens, Shideler, Black. Fouled Out – Porter. Technicals – None.

GIRLS THIRD PLACE

Moffat County 54, Rifle 39

GRAND JUNCTION – For the third time this season, Moffat County pinned a loss on Rifle’s girls basketball team.

Bulldog guard Laurel Mortensen scored a game-high 20 points and Brandi Teller added 13 in Saturday’s third-place game of the Class 4A, District 7 tournament at Mesa State College.

The Bears, who advanced to this week’s regional level of the state 4A playoffs, had a hard time finding their offense against No. 1-seeded Moffat County at the beginning.

Rifle scored six points in the first quarter and 12 by halftime to put it in catch-up mode early.

Moffat County had taken a eight-point lead in the first period and was up 23-12 at intermission.

Likewise, Rifle’s scoring leaders, Ashley Gavito and Krista Wagstrom, couldn’t locate their respective shooting touches. Wagstrom was limited to a field goal by the Bulldogs. Gavito, whose been playing the last third of the year on a painful ankle injury, was held scoreless.

Junior forward Julie McWilliams and sophomore guard Kristen Nefferdorf filled the offensive void. McWilliams, who played a key role in Thursday’s tournament win over Palisade, had 14 points. Neffendorf added 12 and senior Nicole Erpestad scored 9 points.

Montrose, the No. 2 seed from the Southwestern League, won the girls district title for the fifth year in a row by downing Steamboat Springs, 38-19.

Montezuma-Cortez, the other Southwestern League team in the tournament, downed Palisade, 43-33, for fifth place.

Moffat County 54, Rifle 39

Rifle 6 6 15 12-39

Moffat County 14 9 12 19-54

RIFLE – Kristen Neffendorf 5 0-3 11, Haley Hubbell 0 1-2 1, Nicole Erpestad 3 2-6 9, Julie McWilliams 6 0-0 14, Renee Laudick 1 0-0 2, Ashley Gavito 0 0-2 0, Krista Wagstrom 1 0-2 2. Totals – 16 3-13 39.

MOFFAT COUNTY – Ashley Bishop 2 0-0 4, Laurel Mortensen 5 9-12 20, Kate Schafer 3 2-4 8, Amanda Tomlinson 1 0-0 2, April Sanchez 1 1-1 3, Jeni Jones 2 0-0 4, Brandi Teller 6 1-2 13. Totals – 20 13-19 54.

3-Pointers – McWilliams 2, Nefferdorf, Erpestad; Mortensen. Fouled Out – Gavito. Technicals – None.


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