Mustangs earn one victory at Middle Park tournament
The Lady Mustangs of West Grand High School were able to earn one victory at the Middle Park High School basketball invitational tournament last weekend by defeating Love Christian in the final game, 44-14.
In earlier games, West Grand lost to cross-county rival Middle Park on Thursday night, 33-28, and then lost to Meeker, 42-41, on Friday night.
“I always enjoy playing Middle Park, but I don’t think either team had its best offensive effort that night,” Coach Larry Banman said. “Both of us are finding out a lot about ourselves. It was a valuable game for us in the sense that we were able to identify areas of strength and areas that need further attention.
“I was very pleased with the way the girls responded on Friday night against Meeker. We were able to refine some of the things we learned on Thursday night,” Banman added. “I was also pleased to see us convert on 11 of 13 freethrows.”
On Thursday against Middle Park, the Mustangs were able to carve out a two-point lead at halftime, 14-12. The third quarter proved to be the undoing for West Grand as it was able to only score two points in the frame while Middle Park scored seven. The Mustangs were unable to overcome that deficit in the fourth quarter and saw the host Panthers hold on for the victory.
Brook Cecil and Melissa Kraker led the team in scoring with 12 and 10 points respectively. Hannah Howell chipped in with four points and Taylor Pesch added a field goal for two points.
Meeker features two players over 6 feet tall and the Mustangs were faced with the task of keeping those players off the boards. One of those players, Stacy McGubbins, scored 23 points but West Grand was able to hold the rest of the team to a total of 19 points.
Cecil led the way again with 12 points while Kraker chipped in with 11. Pesch had seven points, all scored in the first quarter as West Grand jumped to a 14-7 lead. Destry Heide added five points while Hannah Howell chipped in with four and Erin Beason notched one field goal for two points.
“We were down by 10 points with just over three minutes to go and were able to come back and nearly get the victory,” Coach Banman said. “That is something upon which we can build.”
In the final game of the calendar year, the Mustangs took an early lead and built on that advantage throughout the game to defeat Love Christian. Beason led the way with nine points, Cecil and Howell each scored eight points, Heide had seven points and Kraker chipped in with six points. Pesch added four points and Maddie Roller contributed the final two points to the victory.
“I liked the balanced scoring we got in the final two games of the tournament,” Banman noted. “That will make us tougher to defend and it also shows that our ball movement improved.”
West Grand is off until the Jan. 8-9 weekend when it resumes action against league opponents.
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