West Grand basketball: Mustangs boys drop two in league action | SkyHiNews.com

West Grand basketball: Mustangs boys drop two in league action

by Larry Banman
Sky-Hi Daily News
Kremmling, Colorado

The West Grand boys basketball team saw its record fall to 3-8 this past weekend as the Mustangs dropped a road contest to Vail Christian, 60-40, and then lost to Paonia at home, 49-35.

West Grand dug itself a hole in the first half against the Eagles of Paonia, dropping behind at the half 27-8.

“Obviously, you can’t score only eight points in a half and expect to compete in this league,” said Head Coach Leo Pesch. “I was happy that we came out strong in the second half.”

The Mustangs outscored Paonia in the second half, 27-22, and chipped away at the lead. West Grand cut the lead to eight points at one juncture, but the early advantage was simply too much to overcome.

The loss dropped the Mustangs’ league record to 1-3.

Matt Johnson led West Grand in scoring with 10 points. Connor Widener and Sky Handyside scored six points apiece while Travis Gore chipped in with five points.

Starter Tim Ritschard wasn’t available for the weekend after suffering a sprained ankle in practice this past week. The sophomore is one of the leading scorers and rebounders for Coach Pesch’s team and his presence was missed.

Jordan Van Vleet was the leading scorer for Paonia with 15 points, while Noah Kropp and Taylor Bradford each scored eight points.

It was physical contest, and Paonia shot 31 free throws from the line. Fortunately for West Grand, they were able to only connect on 11 of those attempts. The Mustangs connected on eight of their 18 shots from the charity stripe.

On Friday night, the Vail Christian Saints rode hot shooting from the outside and a balanced scoring attack to steadily pull away from the win.

The Saints have a brand-new gymnasium this season and they definitely looked as if they were comfortable in their new digs. Will Parker, Granger Moch and Al Burgess each hit two three-pointers. Parker led the team in scoring with 13 points while Burgess had 12 in the Saints’ victory.

For the Mustangs, Widener hit two three pointers and led the team in scoring with 10 points, while Gore and Handyside scored seven points apiece and Luke Miller chipped in with six points.

In junior varsity action for the Mustangs this past weekend, West Grand was able to secure victories on the road at Vail Christian and at home against Paonia.

On Tuesday, the Mustangs travel to Walden to play North Park in a game that is scheduled to start at approximately 7 p.m. There will be no junior varsity contest for the boys, as North Park doesn’t have enough players to field a junior varsity team.

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