By Clint Andersen
The Gordon-Rushville Lady Mustangs entertained the Alliance Bulldogs on Tuesday, January 8 and fell short as they were defeated by the Bulldogs 46-36. It was a frustrating night for the Mustangs as they had opportunities, but the ball refused to bounce their way as the breaks all went the way of the Bulldogs.
The Mustangs started strong and bolted to a 6-2 lead early on, then settled in as the first quarter ended in an 8-8 tie. The second quarter was frustrating for both teams as the Mustangs could not find an offensive rhythm with their first points not coming until nearly halfway into the period. Defensively, the Mustangs held their own and were helped by Alliance as they failed to convert on a bevy of free throws, allowing the Mustangs to stay close. A quick outlet pass led to a Hali Sahr layup with :56 left in the half and gave the Mustangs a 15-14 lead, but Alliance answered to make the score 16-15 in favor of the Bulldogs at halftime.
In the third quarter, Alliance gained some separation and opened up a 24-17 lead. The Mustangs regained their offensive rhythm in the second half and had open looks at the basket, but couldn’t get the shots to fall. The only Mustang field goal of the quarter came on a Hali Sahr layup. The remainder of the Mustang scoring consisted of six Sara Marlatt free throws along with one from Morgan Sones. The third quarter ended with Alliance holding a 29-24 lead.
The Alliance lead had grown to 31-24 with 6:26 left in the fourth quarter when the Mustangs called a time out. Coming out of the time out, Brandy Roth brought some excitement back to the crowd as she nailed a three pointer from the left corner. On the Mustangs’ next possession Roth hit a jumper in the lane to cut the Alliance lead to 31-29, but the Bulldogs answered back with a three pointer of their own. Alliance then began to steadily stretch the lead as their free throws began to fall. Even though the calls didn’t go their way, the Mustangs battled to the bitter end and the final score of 46-36.
Sara Marlatt had 18 points to pace the Mustangs. Brandy Roth scored 9, Hali Sahr had 6, and Morgan Sones scored 3. The Lady Mustangs travel to Cody-Kilgore for a 3 PM Mountain Time matchup, then return home to host the Kimball Longhorns at 1 PM on Saturday.