By Jeremy Sharp
The Mustangs defeated the Harvard Cardinals 54-17 on Saturday, January 28th in Kenesaw. The Mustangs were up 40-4 at halftime thanks to a 21-0 run in the second quarter. Junior Tayten Menke was the highest scorer with 12 points. Sophomore Lane Conway came in a close second with 11 points. Junior Keaton Karr had 5 of the team’s 19 steals. Coach Bade said, “The team played very solid in building a 40-4 halftime lead. We got the opportunity to get a lot of different players minutes, and that is always a reward for me as a coach to see all of our players getting varsity time, as they have all had buy-in this year and put in the time to get better. Our entire team has been focused on getting better individually and as a team, so to have the opportunity for all players to compete in the game is something I really do hold in value.”
On Monday, January 30th, the Mustangs took on the Shelton Bulldogs in Shelton. The Bulldogs defeated the Mustangs 66-25. Menke was the highest scorer with 10 points and junior Jordan Faimon contributed 5. Coach Bade said, “We played well defensively early on, but just struggled all game with their defensive pressure and trapping, and offensively we were never able to get into any consistency of half-court offense. This is something we need to work on in practice in getting better moving forward. While it was disappointing for the team to lose by such a margin, it shows us what we can still improve and get better at as we enter the final games of our season and districts. We play Shelton again for our last regular season game, so we see this as an opportunity to keep working hard these two weeks and be able to come right back at them to close out the season.” On Saturday, February 4, the Mustangs took on the Franklin Flyers for the 7th and 8th place game. The Mustangs overcame the Flyers with a 39 to 35 victory. It was a close game all the way through and a hard-fought game for both sides. In the fourth quarter, the Mustangs outscored the Flyers 16-2. It was a great defense for the Mustangs and great teamwork. Faimon had 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks. Coach Bade said, “We came out playing well early and continued to get good looks in the paint in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but really rushed out shots and did not take advantage of those opportunities. We need to continue getting better at finishing around the rim. We played very well in the 4th quarter, trailing by 10 points entering the final quarter. The players never gave in and that is a direct correlation to their mindset this entire year in games, but more so preparing in practice and putting in the time to get better. These types of wins are critical in us getting to where we want to be as a program.” The Mustangs improved their record to 7-12 and look ahead to Giltner and Meridian in the coming week.