By Clint Andersen
The Gordon-Rushville Lady Mustangs braved the weather on December 29 and 30 to play in the Alliance Holiday Tournament. The Mustangs faced off against the Bridgeport Bulldogs on Monday afternoon in the opening game of the tournament and came away victorious by a final score of 54-37. The Mustangs outscored the Bulldogs in every quarter, but the key was a 17-6 outburst in the third quarter that put the game out of reach. Josie Perez led the way for the Mustangs with 24 points, Kenna Campbell scored 8, Carlee Hinn, 7, Keelie Campbell, 6, Ashton Sasse and Denie Jacobsen, 3, Hali Sahr, 2, and Shania Freeseman, 1.
The opening win extended the Mustangs’ win streak to four and moved them into the championship game on Tuesday where they faced the Mitchell Tigers. Mitchell improved their record to 5-3 with a win over Alliance on Monday, earning their third win of the season against a class B team as they had previously defeated both Scottsbluff and Gering.
Mitchell used full court pressure and tight man-to-man defense to build a seven point lead at the end of the first quarter. That lead expanded to fifteen mid-way through the second quarter, but the Mustangs battled back and trailed by 10 points at halftime, 17-27. The Mustangs used another strong third quarter to claw their way back into the game as they outscored Mitchell 13-8. Trailing 30-35 to start the fourth quarter, the Mustangs gave everything they had and pulled within three in the last two minutes of the game, but Mitchell made some key free throws down the stretch to hang on for the 52-47 win. The Mustangs’ record now stands at 4-4.
Ashton Sasse was the top scorer for the Mustangs with 12 points, all of them coming from 3-point range. Josie Perez added 11 and Kenna Campbell poured in 10. Carlee Hinn scored 9, and Hali Sahr, 5. The Lady Mustangs will have a ten day layoff as they prepare to host Valentine on January 9 and Bayard on January 10.