Mustangs advance in rout of Big Reds

by Gunnar Davis

In the first round of the district playoffs, the PCM Mustangs girls’ basketball team needed a big Valentine’s Day win at home against the Centerville Big Reds on Feb. 14 to keep their dreams of State alive. What the Mustangs wanted is what they got, winning 62-29.
The Mustangs struggled out of the gate. Centerville had some big low-post players who were hurting PCM. The game remained tight throughout the first half, showing a couple of lead-changes. The score at the half was 26-24 in the Mustangs’ favor.
“The first half, we accomplished some of the things we wanted to,” Head Coach Bret Grier said. “We forced turnovers and actually scored 26 points, which isn’t too bad. We just didn’t do some things both offensively and defensively that needed some adjustments at halftime.”
The second half was a whole different story. The Mustangs came out with energy. Both the offense and defense were firing on all cylinders. In the third quarter alone, they scored 24 points, compared to the Big Reds’ one. The Mustangs coasted from there.
Senior Rachel Freland led the Mustangs with 23 points, four rebounds and four assists. Senior Courtney Van Houweling had 11 points, seven steals and five assists. Fellow senior Rachel Gulling added eight points.
“Every win in the tournament is a big win,” Grier said. “We had a great crowd. It is survive and advance right now. The girls played with really great tournament intensity the second half, and we can’t wait to play Chariton on Wednesday night.”