Kremmling " Mustangs run over Wildcats in Walden |

Kremmling " Mustangs run over Wildcats in Walden

Larry Banman
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

The West Grand boys basketball team dominated the North Park Wildcats on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 51-29, and then traveled on Saturday to Rangely, where the Mustangs lost to the Panthers 61-51 in a league contest.

In a game played in Walden against North Park, the Mustangs used their superior depth to easily outdistance the Wildcats, who were only able to field seven players for the contest.

Travis Gore led the Mustangs in scoring with 11 points, while Matt Johnson added 10 and Fletcher Flanigan contributed nine to the victory. Coach Leo Pesch used a platoon system in the game, playing his older players for four minutes and then substituting a younger set for the final four minutes of each quarter.

The Mustangs jumped to a 19-5 lead after one quarter, which they expanded to 29-13 at halftime. West Grand was then able to slowly pull away in the second half.

For the Wildcats, Zane Sanchez and Pat Drakulich led the way with eight points apiece.

“It was good to see a lot of players get some game action,” Pesch said. “That can only help us down the road.”

Against the Panthers in Rangely on Saturday night, it was the Mustangs who found themselves on the short end of a first quarter deficit. Rangely raced to an 18-5 lead after the first quarter, and West Grand was playing catch up for the remainder of the evening.

The teams played closely in the middle two frames and the Mustangs then used a fullcourt press to spark a furious fourth-quarter rally that cut the lead to nine-points.

“It was just too hard to recover from that early deficit,” Pesch said. “Rangely is too solid, particularly at home. They aren’t going to fall apart.”

Johnson led the team in scoring with 14 points, Gore dropped in 11 points and Sky Handyside scored 10 in the game.

A key for the Mustangs in the game was the defensive effort of Drew Klotz, who was given the assignment of guarding Panther star Patrick Phelan. According to the Rangely coaching staff, Phelan had been averaging 27 points per game. In this contest, he was held to seven points.

In games this week, the Mustangs travel to Meeker on Friday. After that, West Grand has three games remaining, all of which count in the Western Slope League standings.

During the first weekend in February, the Mustangs will host Soroco and Plateau Valley and then close out the season the following weekend against North Park.

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