By Samantha Bonifas
The Silver Lake Lady Mustangs headed into the Twin Valley Conference tournament ready to take care of business with the number 2 seed in the bracket. They took on the Lawerence Nelson Raiders for the first round of the tournament on Tuesday, February 1st. The first quarter started slow for both teams with the scoreboard at 6-4, the Mustangs up. Silver Lake finally got into an offensive groove in the second quarter, scoring 17 points to take a 23-15 lead at halftime. Silver Lake held Lawrence Nelson to just 2 points in the third quarter and played an excellent second half to advance to the semifinals. “We had a lot of energy knowing that we could get another shot at Kenesaw,” said junior Georgi tenbensel. Senior Katelyn Karr led the Mustangs with 11 points, followed by freshman Emma Schmidt with 9 and tenBensel and senior Amanda Ehrman who both chipped in 8.
Silver Lake then took on Kenesaw on Thursday, February 3rd for a tough matchup in the semifinal round. The Mustangs took an 11-9 lead in the first half of the game. In the third quarter, the Blue Devils outscored the Mustangs 19-16 to put the scoreboard at 28-27. The battle continued into the last seconds in the fourth quarter. Despite a hard-fought effort from Silver Lake, Kenesaw came out on top with a 41-37 win. Karr led the team in scoring with 19 points, with 7 of those coming from the free-throw line. Karr shot 70% from the line for the night. She also led the team in rebounds with an impressive 11 boards. Schmidt tallied up 3 steals. Junior Brooklyn Meyer commented that although the Kenesaw loss was difficult for the team, it changed the dynamic for the rest of the season. “It made us realize that it is not going to be easy from here on out, so we have to put all of our effort as a team out on the court each night whether it is a practice or a game.” Regardless of the tough loss, the Silver Lake team finished the week with a lot of grit in preparation for a shot at third place.
The Mustangs finished Twin Valley Conference week with the consolation game at Hastings College. Silver Lake used an impressive offensive quarter to head into halftime with a 21-15 lead. tenBensel led the team with 15 points. The Mustangs shut down the Dragon offense and only allowed 7 points in the second half. “The team was so pumped for the Deshler game. The bus ride to Hastings college was full of screaming and singing. We used that energy to really push in the game,” said tenBensel. The Silver Lake Lady Mustangs finished third place in the 2022 Twin Valley Conference tournament. The team is not ready to be satisfied with just that however. Meyer says that this was just a glimpse of what the rest of the season will look like. “I am looking forward to making our communities proud along with finishing strong for Coach Crowe and the seniors in their last year.”