Mustangs eyeing playoff bye after third-straight win
Thursday, Feb 15, 2018 06:00 am
The George McDougall Mustangs senior boys’ basketball team is within striking distance of first in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) after a gutsy 87-72 win over the Chestermere Lakers Feb. 7.
Although it wasn’t a perfect win, it moves the Mustangs to 3-1 this season and gives the team a chance of a first-round bye with playoffs just around the corner.
“It would be great to get a bye to give the kids a rest because it is a heavy end of the season, but they’re young, they can handle it if they have to play an extra game,” said Mustangs associate coach Jamie Mulholland. “I’m more worried about what happens in the playoffs than where we finish in the regular season.”
The Mustangs got off to a fast start against the Lakers, carrying the lead at half time, but struggled with shots and allowed the Lakers to remain close throughout the second half.
“We came out to a really good start, one of our best starts of the year, actually,” Mulholland said. “We shot well in the first (half) and then went cold and just had to grind it out.”
The Lakers came into the 2017-18 RVSA season with a load of experience, bringing back five returnees from last season’s championship squad. With a big three consisting of Caleb Lee, Carter Sawby and Jaiden Pannu leading the charge, the Mustangs have jelled on the court and have improved throughout the season.
But when its big three aren’t performing, Mulholland said he has players like Jamis Mulholland and Tommy Titterington, as well as first-years Ethan Smith and Julien Boudesocque who have emerged as key players.
Although the team struggled to put the Lakers away convincingly, the Mustangs held on for a crucial win to put it in a tie for second in the RVSA standings with the Bert Church Chargers.
In addition to its defeat over the Lakers, the Mustangs took the win when George McDougall hosted its first ever basketball tournament Feb. 9 and 10.
Head coach Nathan Lee said the victory was a major boost for his squad and, due to the tournament’s success, would like to see more tournaments at the school in future years.
“We’re very pleased,” Lee said. “This was a bit of a grind for the boys and we had to rally and they came to win.”
The Mustangs closed out its regular season Feb. 14 (after press time), when it played host to the winless Springbank Phoenix.