Mustangs girls fall one game from state tournament


by Logan Gilman

In a virtual David versus Goliath matchup, the PCM Mustang girls took on the class 3A, top-ranked team, the Mediapolis Bulletes, in the region six championship basketball game, with a trip to Wells Fargo Arena for the State tournament on the line. The stone didn’t fall into the right place this time, as the Bulletes proved to be too much for the Mustangs, winning with a final score of 83-66.
PCM had trouble stopping the undefeated Bullettes all night, but the Mustangs did a good job keeping their division I and Division II bound players in check, as Mediapolis seniors Andrea Larson and Heidi Hillyard only scored 14 and 11 points, respectively. But they did grab 19 and 12 rebounds. After one quarter of play, Mediapolis held a 25-14 point advantage.
Head Coach Bret Grier said, “We knew that we had to force them to make shots from the outside, and hope that they had an off-night shooting the ball. Unfortunately each time we would make a run they would come up with a big three-point shot. Their guards came up big for them. That is what the really good teams do. But I was so proud of how hard we pushed Mediapolis. Their head coach and even a few of their fans told me that they hadn’t been pushed that hard this whole year.”
It was clear this was going to be an intense, high action game, as the contest had no shortage of star players and scoring. The following quarter was a gridlock, as each team scored 20 points, making it a 45-34 game going into the break.
Mediapolis came out of the intermission focused and gradually pulled away as the extended the lead by three points in each of the following quarters.
Grier said, “I was very proud of our girls, their effort and the way they played this entire year.”
Headlining the stat line for the night was PCM senior guard Rachel Freland, who scored 27 points and added seven steals to her team’s cause. Senior Courtney Van Houweling scored 15 points, grabbed five boards, dished out five assists and had four steals. Sophomore Katie Vande Wall led the team in rebounding with nine.
The Mustang gals fell one game short of their goal of the State tournament. Nonetheless, it was a great season for the PCM Mustang girls’ basketball team.
Van Houweling said, “I am super proud of each and every single one of my teammates. Coming to practice with great attitudes each day and wanting to get better got us as far as we did. This team was one of the closest teams I’ve ever been on and I’m going to miss being able to play with them on the court again.”