Moffat girls beat Rifle |

Moffat girls beat Rifle

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE ” The Moffat County girls basketball team used the momentum from the previous night’s decisive victory over Glenwood Springs to propel them to a 55-29 win at Rifle on Saturday.

The visiting Bulldogs controlled the opening tip and for all intents and purposes, controlled the rest of the game also.

When senior guard Jorgiea Raftopolous hit an early 3-pointer to put Moffat County up 5-4, the tide was beginning to roll in favor of her team, and it wouldn’t let up until the Bulldogs had raced to a 19-7 first-quarter advantage.

Moffat County extended its lead when Amy Dilldine hit a driving left-handed layup to start the second quarter.

The cold-shooting Bears had no answer for the up-tempo Bulldogs, and Rifle coach Brad Skinner was forced to use a timeout with his team trailing 25-10.

Megan McWilliams made a nice spin move and layin for the Bears following the timeout, but Rifle continued to struggle on the offensive end of the court.

Skinner attributed his team’s offensive woes to a combination of being flat shooting the basketball and a very good Moffat County defense.

“Moffat was better than us tonight,” said Skinner. “We had a cold night shooting the ball, and Moffat really played good defense on us.”

It was Moffat County though, who came out a bit flat to start the second half. That’s when high-energy guard Angela Charchalis decided to give her team a needed lift.

The senior scored 14 of her team’s 23 points in the second half on a variety of drives to the basket and 3-point goals. Charchalis time and again found open teammates for scores and also contributed to the Bulldog effort in the rebounding department. At times, it seemed as though there were three of her on the court.

Charchalis led the Bulldogs in scoring with 22 points on the evening. Rifle was led by Sandy Samson, who tallied 6 points.

With the win, Moffat County moved its record to 15-3 overall and 7-1 in the WSL, staying deadlocked with Glenwood for the league’s top spot.

Scott Rust and Drew Blatchford keyed a third quarter scoring surge which broke open a close game and helped the Rifle boys basketball team to a 73-60 victory over Moffat County, ending the Bulldogs’ four-game winning streak.

With Rifle ahead by just one point at halftime, Rust opened the third quarter with a long 3-pointer from the middle of the court, and Blatchford scored on a baseline drive, fueling the Bears’ momentum and sending them on a 13-0 scoring run to open up a 45-31 lead on the visitors from Craig. It was a knockout punch the Bulldogs couldn’t recover from.

Moffat County was out front for most of the first half of play. When Bulldog Mike Peters hit a layup midway through the first quarter to give his team a 19-11 lead, Rifle coach Chris Lowther called a timeout to settle his charges.

Lowther’s advice during the break must have been golden as the Bears slowly chipped away at the lead.

When Tyler Rust made a nice behind-the-back assist to teammate Keenan Ross on a Rifle fastbreak, the score was knotted at 28 and the Bear faithful were making noise.

Lowther enjoyed seeing his team in high gear.

“Our first option is always to run the break,” said the Rifle coach. “We just didn’t defend well enough early on in the game to get things going our way.”

Scott Rust led in the Rifle scoring column with 24 points, followed by Blatchford with 20.

Moffat County got 18 counters from Chayton Owens, and Mike Peters and Eli Buckner each helped out with 12 points.

Rifle improved to 10-7 overall and 7-2 in the 4A WSL. With the loss, Moffat dropped to 5-12 and 4-5 in league.

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