Lady Mustangs beat Lady Panthers in close battle between Grand County teams | SkyHiNews.com

Lady Mustangs beat Lady Panthers in close battle between Grand County teams

Larry Banman
Sky-Hi Daily News

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

The West Grand High School girls basketball team defeated Middle Park 41-33 in a hard-fought battle last Friday night.

The Mustangs built a two-point lead after the first quarter and gradually increased that advantage until the end of the game. The Panthers made the last shot of the game at the buzzer to secure the final margin.

“It was a good game with strong, physical play by both squads,” West Grand head coach Larry Banman said. “I was impressed with how the girls kept their poise, particularly down the stretch.”

With more than half of the fourth quarter left, Mustang point guard Renea Ellison collected two quick fouls and fouled out of the contest. The Mustangs were also missing starter Rebecca Roller, who suffered a knee injury early in the second quarter.

“Despite losing two key players,” Banman said, “our girls really pulled together to keep Middle Park from getting closer than the final margin.”

Brook Cecil led the Mustangs in scoring with 15 points, nailing six field goals and adding three points from the charity stripe. Ellison scored nine points while Jordan Davidson and Jaime Elliott added five points apiece. Rose Hargadine scored four while Angie O’Neill added the final three points to the total.

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“I was pleased with the way the team looked for openings for their shots. We did a good job of slashing from the wing, the post players had some excellent looks at the basket and our ball handlers did well on their reads of the defense,” Banman said.

“We do have to work on improving our shooting percentage from the free throw line,” Banman continued. “We were at about 30 percent for the evening. Early in the season while players gain their playing legs, it is sometimes to difficult to adjust to shooting while fatigued.

“I was extremely pleased with the effort put forth by the whole squad,” Banman said. “All of our seniors did an excellent job of fulfilling their roles of providing leadership.”

The seniors this year for West Grand are Elliott, Jordan, O’Neill and Stephanie Stubbs.

Hargadine, a junior, led the team in blocked shots.

“Rose did a good job of providing good defensive support from the back line,” Banman said.

Both teams utilized a full-court press during the game, and Middle Park employed a half-court trapping defense from time to time.

“The Panthers have excellent balance and they play very hard,” Banman noted. “They have quick players that are able to create havoc.”

Shelley McLean scored six points to lead Middle Park, which had nine players contribute to the scoring column.

Middle Park JV wins

In junior varsity action, Middle Park defeated West Grand, 30-23, as Lihla Clancy and Quincy Pedersen scored eight points apiece for the Panthers.

Melissa Kraker led the Mustangs junior varsity in scoring with 10 points. Maddie Roller scored eight for West Grand while Brenda Heid had three points and Erin Beason added two to the total for West Grand.

The junior varsity Mustangs scored more points in the second and fourth quarters, but were unable to overcome a 10-2 point differential in the third quarter.

This week, the Mustangs and Panthers square off again on Thursday night in the first round of the Middle Park High School Invitational Tournament. West Grand is scheduled to play Meeker in round two of the tournament.

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