Mustangs Fall Short In Battle Of Unbeatens

by Olin Meinders

The Mustangs started their first five games of the season with five wins and some impressive performances including a blowout against Saydel and their first win against Pella Christian in four years. Going into Dec. 15, the undefeated Mustangs knew their greatest opponent so far would be the Hawks of South Hamilton, who also came into the game unbeaten. By the end of the night, one team would have their first loss of the season no matter what. The Mustangs fought hard and took the Hawks into overtime, but ultimately fell short. PCM’s record fell to 5-1 after the 70-68 loss, while the Hawks picked up their seventh straight victory.

The Mustangs started fast and gave South Hamilton a challenge that they had yet to see this year. By the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs had a 12-10 lead over the Hawks. South Hamilton, however, was able to keep up with PCM in the second quarter and tie the score at 28 each at halftime. After halftime, the Hawks pulled away and turned the tide of the game. At the end of the third quarter, South Hamilton had a 44-37 lead. South Hamilton’s lead wouldn’t be cut down until late in the fourth quarter, when sophomore Jason Stafford hit a huge three to shrink the gap. Not much later, senior Elijah Sperfslage hit a three in the last few seconds of regulation to tie the score at 62 and send the game into overtime. The two teams went back and forth in overtime in an effort to preserve their perfect records. The game came down to the final seconds, and the Hawks emerged victorious when the Mustangs were unable to score in the last ten seconds of the game.

Fouls were a difference maker during the game. South Hamilton outscored the Mustangs 25-13 when it came to free throws, and three of the five Mustangs starters fouled out of the game by the end. Sperfslage lead PCM in scoring with 16 points despite fouling out. Junior Reed Worth played well and finished with 13 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Junior Andrew Van Ryswk as usual lead the team in rebounds with eight. Van Ryswk is currently seventh in 2A when it comes to rebounds with 71 so far this season. The Mustangs will head to North Polk tonight to play the Comets, starting at 7:30.