BY: Samantha Bonifas
The Silver Lake Mustangs headed into post-season play with a second seed and a 13-8 record. The Lady Mustangs were matched up to play the Kenesaw Blue Devils for the second time this season with a previous 13 point win. The Mustangs took control early in the game as Amanda Ehrman led the Mustang offense with her 89% shooting percentage. The Mustangs took a 16-11 lead in the first quarter. Meadow Wagoner hit a 3 just before the half to make the score 25-20. Silver Lake came out strong after the half and outscored the Blue Devils 10-4 to get the scoreboard to 35-24. The fourth quarter began and the Mustangs inched towards the finished line, but they started to get in an offensive lull. The Blue Devils attempted to make a comeback, but could not quite close the gap in the score. As the Mustangs made some crucial free throws at the end of the game and played solid defense, they took away a 42-37 win and headed to the subdistrict final. Amanda Ehrman led the Mustangs in her best shooting game of the season with 18 points. Kerigan Karr, Katelyn Karr, and Georgi tenBensel each added 7 to the board as well.
The mentality in every Lady Mustang basketball player’s head on Thursday night’s subdistrict game was revenge after suffering a tough loss just the week before to the Shelton Bulldogs. As the 32 minutes of basketball began, Silver Lake immediately took control. The Mustang offense found weaknesses in the Bulldog matchup zone defense and took advantage of it with a 7 point lead at the half. In the second half, Shelton had more subs and fresher legs than Silver Lake. As the clock ticked to the end, a battle was in place. Makenna Willis of Shelton got the and one on a layup to secure a one-point lead with 3 minutes remaining in the fourth. The rest of the game was back and forth and up and down on the court until the Mustangs lost a heartbreaker of a game, 39-37. Unfortunately, there was no wild card opportunity for Silver Lake and their season ended. “Our final game vs Shelton was the best team game we played this year. Our help gap defense was excellent and we did a great job of finding the open girl on offense. Even though we lost a close, hard-fought game, I was so proud of the girls and the team they had become. My favorite part about this team is when we became a team. It was a process of learning what team is and team means. Early in the season, we were still individuals playing for ourselves, We were not “Sisters in Hoops”. As the season progressed the girls began to play for each other and truly care about each other,” commented coach Crowe about the end of the season.
Seniors Kerigan Karr and Madison Miller have both been huge assets to the Lady Mustang basketball program since day one of their freshman year. “Kerigan and Madison were excellent leaders this year on the team. They helped keep the team on the right path during the good and bad times of the season. Kerigan scoring and defense was a big part of the team’s success. Madison’s development on being a role player to come off the bench is an example of the ultimate team player. It is hard to sit on the bench and be ready to come in on a moment’s notice to help your team win. I am very proud of both of their accomplishments,” said Coach Crowe. The Lady Mustang basketball team will truly miss Kerigan and Madison and all of their positive contributions to the team. Looking into next year, the Mustangs will lose Karr and Madison, but keep a very promising group of girls with a strong potential. “What I am looking forward to for next season is to continue on where we finished this year. I want to continue forward in becoming a stronger team. We need to develop more team depth but we need to play the excellent defense we displayed the last couple of games. We have very good depth returning with 4 starters but need to come up with at least 4 more players that can play at a high level. My biggest goal for the off-season is to continue to work as individuals and team to improve. I look forward to going to team camps this summer to improve our team game and depth,” said Crowe.