By Clint Andersen
The Gordon-Rushville Lady Mustangs ended their season last Monday with a loss in sub-district action to the Mitchell Tigers. The game was played in Alliance and was very low scoring affair with a final score of 37-32. The Lady Mustangs had opportunities to win the game, but just couldn’t find the right combination to extend their season.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead, but midway through the opening quarter the Mustang offense went to work. Alli Burleigh and Sara Marlatt combined for eight points and Hali Sahr added a three pointer with 26 seconds left in the period to give the Lady Mustangs an 11-9 lead at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter started slowly for both teams as nearly two and a half minutes elapsed before Mitchell finally scored to tie the contest at eleven. After pulling even, the Tigers went on an 8 to 3 scoring run over the last three minutes of the quarter to take a 19-15 halftime lead. In what would become a recurring theme for the Lady Mustangs, missed opportunities prevented them from taking advantage of Tiger miscues. The Mustangs shot eight free throws in the first half, but made only one. Mitchell fared only slightly better as they converted on only two of their six free throw chances.
The second half was a back-and-forth contest as momentum swung from one side to the other. The Mitchell lead grew to seven before the Lady Mustangs drew within three on baskets by Burleigh and Marlatt. Mitchell pulled away to a 10 point lead, but the Mustangs again chipped away and ended the third period trailing 28-21.
The Lady Mustangs played much of the fourth quarter without Sara Marlatt who was sidelined with an injury before returning late in the period. The Mustang guards took this opportunity to chip in as Cali Mulcahy and Denie Jacobsen combined for seven fourth quarter points. The Tigers were able to handle the full court pressure applied by the Mustangs through the late stages of the quarter and maintained a three score lead until the final minute. The final score was 37-32.
The Mustangs’ leading scorer was Sara Marlatt with 11 points. Senior Alli Burleigh scored 10 in her final game, Cali Mulcahy scored 5, Hali Sahr, 3, Denie Jacobsen, 2, and Cirsten Hinn added 1. The Mustangs end their season with a record of 5-14. While the record may be disappointing, the Lady Mustangs played many young players who gained valuable experience this season. The Mustangs will need to find a way to replace the hard-nosed inside play of senior Alli Burleigh, but the cupboard looks to be well stocked with young talent that is ready to step up next year.