West Grand Basketball: Lady Mustangs win after dominating Burros in decisive third quarter
The West Grand Mustangs came within a three-point shot that rimmed out of the basket with 42 seconds left in the game of tying a hard-fought game against the Meeker Cowboys on Friday, Dec. 19.
The shot by senior Rose Hargadine just missed the mark and the Cowboys were able to capitalize by sinking a two-pointer of their own and hold on for a 42-37 victory over the Mustangs.
“Considering that Meeker started the game on a 9-0 run,” coach Larry Banman said, “I was extremely proud of the way the girls fought back and actually got themselves in a position to win the game.”
Hargadine led the team in scoring with 12 points, 10 of them in the second half. “Rose really stepped up the physical part of her game in the second half and especially in the fourth quarter,” Banman said.
Brook Cecil scored 11 points, with Renea Ellison adding five points and Hannah Howell chipping in with four points.
Hargadine also led the team in rebounds with eight and Ellison had five assists with only one turnover.
“Renea has been playing well this year and I would have to say this was her most complete game of the season,” Banman said.
Janae Kindall led the Cowboys with 18 points while Marki Cook had 14 for Meeker.
“That was a great basketball game for us,” Banman said. “After the opening run by Meeker, the team made some adjustments and we had a battle between two hard-playing teams.”
The Mustangs were participating in the 5th Annual Mountain Parks Electric High Country Invitational, which is hosted by Middle Park High School.
On the opening night of the tournament on Thursday, the Mustangs were matched up against the host Panthers from Middle Park.
The Mustangs broke out to a 19-8 lead in the first quarter and maintained a double-digit lead for most of the game, which ended in a 47-35 Mustang win.
The Panthers outscored the Mustangs in the middle two periods of the game 15-12 and pulled to within eight.
“I thought Middle Park did a good job of taking us out
of our game, especially in the third quarter,” Banman said.
The Mustangs made just enough freethrows in the fourth quarter to keep the Panthers at bay. West Grand converted seven of their 14 freethrows and outscored Middle
Park, 16-12, to secure the final margin of victory.
Cecil led the Mustangs in scoring with 19 points while Hargdine scored eight points and Roller chipped in with seven points.
Hargadine and Roller led the team in rebounds with five while Pesch had four offensive rebounds. Ellison had four assists to lead the team in that category.
The leading scorer for Middle Park was Kristin Van Horn with 12, while Emily Abbott chipped in with seven points for the Panthers.
On Saturday morning, the Mustangs were pitted against the Love Christian Knights, a private school from the Denver area. The tiny school was able to field a team of only seven healthy players and it was no match for the Mustangs, as West Grand steadily pulled away to a 68-19 victory.
The Knights had a solid third quarter and scored 11 points. The remainder of the game resembled a track meet as the Mustangs converted numerous turnovers and rebounds into fast break opportunities.
Cecil again led the team in scoring, this time with 20 points in three quarters of play, as coach Banman sat most of his starters for the fourth quarter. Ellison and Roller each scored 13 points and Erin Beason chipped in with eight points. Also entering the scoring column were Melissa Kraker, Hargadine, Jessica Raecke, Chyenne Sims and Sam Tracy.
In a junior varsity contest played early on Saturday morning, the Middle Park Panthers defeated West Grand, 40-20. H. Levettt led the Panthers with 11 points while Chyenne Sims led the Mustangs with five points.
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West Grand seniors Rene Dominguez, right, and Angel Dominguez pass the baton during one of the nighttime relays at the 2021 Joe Shields Invitational at WGHS.