Tough times fell on the Dallas Center-Grimes boys’ basketball team Friday, Feb 8 as they dropped a conference road contest at Norwalk.

A 27 point fourth quarter for the hometown Warriors sped Norwalk past DC-G as the Mustangs suffered their 13th loss of the season in 74-56 fashion. One could say it was a battle of two halves for the Mustangs who, despite what the final score says, actually held leads in both the first and second quarters. DC-G held a 16-13 advantage following the first quarter and a 32-28 lead at the half. Then the third quarter came and things did not go the way of the Mustangs as their halftime lead changed to a 47-38 third quarter deficit after scoring just six third quarter points. From there the Mustangs did manage their third highest fourth quarter scoring mark this season with 18 points, but thanks to that 27 point fourth quarter by Norwalk, DC-G suffered the loss.

The Mustangs did return senior Tyler Borneman who was out previously with an ankle injury but even with the much needed addition, DC-G couldn’t quite get the job done shooting 42 percent from field goal range but did collect eleven three point shots on the night. DC-G did have a big night from sophomore Luke Rankin who’s 26 points dropped on the night marked his second highest scoring total of the season. Rankin fell just under 50 percent shooting from two point range and managed five-of-ten three point shots on the night, all while shooting nearly perfect from the free throw line at seven-of-eight. Rankin also added in four rebounds and six assists, ranking him fourth in the entire Little Hawkeye Conference.

Senior Gabe Peterman had one of his biggest offensive nights of the year with 13 points off of five-of-ten from two point range and three-of-seven from beyond the three point arc. On top of the scoring performance, Peterman led the team with six total rebounds on the night, giving him 71 total and an average of 3.7 rebounds per game. Unfortunately the scoring dropped off significantly from there as the pair of Caleb Rhoads and Cole Glasgow both scored five points each as the third highest scoring marks for the game.

The loss drops the Mustangs to a mark of 6-13 overall and 3-10 inside the conference. The loss also marks the fifth straight loss for the Mustangs after a strong three game winning streak. A streak like this always brings with it questions but for Mustang head coach Joel Rankin, the there’s only a few explanations as to the recent trend.

“One of the biggest reasons why we haven’t been playing as well and coming away with wins is how we manage our fundamentals,” began Rankin. “We’re getting ahead of ourselves and not using a strong fundamental base to propel us. We’re making careless mistakes in passing, decision making, and sometimes shot selection. We’ve got to keep a hold of the ball. In almost every game we have lost, we’ve had at least one quarter where we shoot ourselves in the foot by giving the opponent easy points off of careless mistakes. What we need to do more than anything is sure up our fundamental work.”

The Mustangs will be looking to get back into the win column and they will do so with a two game home stand starting Tuesday, Feb. 12 as they welcome in non-conference foe North Polk to DC-G Meadows Gym.