The Dallas Center-Grimes Mustangs traveled to the State Basketball Tournament to take on the West Delaware Hawks on Tuesday, March 7. The Mustangs ended up losing the quarterfinal game 66-58.
The Mustangs began the big game with the first possession and Brody Kleen had the first layup to put them up on the board immediately.
It only took a couple trips down the court and the Hawks made their own field goal thanks to Ryan Trainer.
The Hawks quickly got the lead and after a field goal by John Nagel, the scoreboard read 7-2. But. with a few more shots and a couple more free throws, the Mustangs were back in it and leading by one (8-7).
The score went back and forth with the Hawks leading by one, then the Mustangs leading by one up until the buzzer sounded the end of the quarter. Nagel was the last one to make a shot that put the Hawks up 11-10 to end to first quarter.
The second quarter was not a good one for the Mustangs. The Hawks were able to hold them to just three points the entire quarter while they earned 16 points.
It wasn’t until there was just under three minutes left of the half that the Mustangs finally put a single point on the board. The point came after Trainer had a foul called against him that allowed Mustang Steve Borneman to shoot two free throws in which he made one. The score was now 22-11.
Just 20 seconds later, Marshall McCarty made a three pointer for the Hawks to widen the gap even further.
The last two points of the half for the Mustangs also came from free throws shot by Borneman, just a minute after his first. This wasn’t the end of the quarter though, as a foul was called against the Mustangs to allow Kyle Wright to score two free throws and end the half at 27-13.
“With West Delaware, they’re so strong and big, that we didn’t get a lot of second shots,” said Coach Joel Rankin. “If you don’t get your first shot, if you’re not making your free throws, you can go a stretch without scoring. We just didn’t hit shots and that’s a testament to their very solid defense, they don’t do too much, they just play good half-court man. They’re very solid defensively and they rebound well, so it’s hard to get second shots in.”
The second half began with a foul called against Mustang Trevor Grove which allowed two more points for the Hawks.
It was a minute and a half into the quarter until the Mustangs had their first point. This point came from a free throw shot by Kleen. The score was still only 29-13 with the Hawks leading.
On the Mustangs’ next offensive possession, a shot-foul combination was called against the Hawks. Jack Duey drained his shot while Nagel fouled him; Duey also scored the free throw he was given. Even with Duey’s three points, the Mustangs were down 16 points.
With four and a half minutes left of the third quarter, Grove put up a shot for the Mustangs, unfortunately only to have it followed with another shot made by Tyler Kelley for the Hawks.
Other than another field goal made by Grove, the Mustangs last five points of the quarter were from free throws. The gap was now at 18 points with the scoreboard reading 43-25.
The Mustangs racked up an outstanding 32 points in the fourth quarter to try to catch up to the Hawks.
“In the fourth quarter, we just wanted to play that hard and aggressive the whole game,” Rankin said, “but it was just a sense of urgency then and we got a little more physical and a little more intense. We started to take the ball to the basket more and it’s hard when they have that lead and didn’t want to foul but we were very aggressive. But like I said, the kids didn’t give up, they knew they could make the run. We’ve had some games this year, where we’ve been down a lot and came back and won, you know it’s just their character that’s real solid.”
Mustang Justin Biegger started earning the 32 points when he scored his only three points of the game within the first ten seconds of the quarter. Biegger’s three pointer was followed by another three pointer on the Mustangs next offensive possession made by Trent pride. The score was now 43-32.
After another free throw for the Hawks, Borneman came back down the court and made a basket to immediately put two more points on the board for the Mustangs. The score read 46-34.
With many more possessions and trips up and down the court, the score read 53-40 with the Hawks still in the lead.
On the next possession, Borneman was able to knock this 13 point lead down to a six point lead in less that a minute. The Mustang drove down the court with four and a half minutes left to make the first field goal, after a turnover Borneman made a layup for his next two points and with another turnover he made a three pointer to finish his seven point streak.
After the seven points, the score was 53-47.
Borneman led the Mustangs at Wells Fargo Arena with 19 points. He scored five field goals, two three pointers and three free throws.
Borneman’s scoring streak stopped with a field goal made by Kelley on the Hawks’ side of the court. The Mustangs were back down by eight.
The Hawks and the Mustangs had earned another nine points points each when Kelley had another foul called against him. Kelley had fouled Jordan Humphreys while shooting a three pointer which allowed him three free throws.
Humphreys made two of the three shots which gave the Mustangs their final two points of their total 58. The Hawks shot another field goal to end the game at 66-58.
“This was one of the hardest working teams I have been with,” said Borneman “After practice, every day, people always stayed and shot around. If people hadn’t worked as hard as they did, I don’t think we wouldn’t have made it this far, but people did that, they bought in and we worked hard to get here. We earned this.”
The Mustangs ended their season with an overall record of 15-10.