Senior girls Mustangs edge out Bow Valley Bobcats
It was one of those games that could go either way.
In the end, it was the George McDougall Mustangs that came out on top after battling to a 51-49 win against the Bow Valley Bobcats in Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) senior girls basketball action in Airdrie, Jan. 16.
The tight score came as a surprise to both coaches as the teams were shaking off rust in their first games back after the Christmas break.
No lead was safe. The Mustangs jumped out early in the first quarter only to have the Bobcats pull ahead late in the second quarter. Airdrie managed to escape the first half with a slim 23-21 lead that they would give up again in the third quarter.
With the score tied at 41 heading into the last 10 minutes of the game, it became apparent to both teams that the last basket would win.
It was looking like the Bobcats would capture its first RVSA win of the season when it was up by five with less than a minute left, but a pair of late foul shots pulled the Mustangs back into position and gave them the win.
“The girls put a lot of pressure on themselves to win,” said Mustangs head coach Joe McLaughlin.
“They turned it up a notch with the intensity and kept up the pace and Bow Valley got tired.”
“It was exciting especially at this time of the year,” added Bow Valley head coach John Davidson. “Basketball is never as pretty as it should be right now and I’m really proud of our girls. They battled.”
The Mustangs’ press was too much for the Bobcats to handle at the end and late-game fatigue has been an issue for Cochrane all season, Davidson said.
He added that a key to avoiding more late-game losses will be to keep up their conditioning and beating teams by being in better shape.
“The press did it’s job,” he said. “We’re not as deep as some teams, so we run out of gas and that’s something we have to fight through. When it’s exciting and necessary at the end, that’s when you have to be calm and do the job.”
For the Mustangs, the win was its second of the season and pushed them to .500 in the RVSA league.
Losing their top point guard to injury early in the season set back the team’s offence, a kink it’s still trying to work out. While the team found more opportunities to score than its Bow Valley opponent, McLaughlin said the Bobcats had a better shooting percentage, which the Mustangs need to fix.
“Hopefully we have most things in place for the home stretch,” he said.
“Our defence has been great. We just need to pick up on our scoring and we’ll be fine.”