by Kim Bodemann – WG Booster Club President
It was a successful weekend for the Lady Mustangs’ basketball team. Not only did they improve their season record to 14-2 as they knocked off the Basalt Longhorns and Hayden Tigers, but in both games the Mustangs came out with much more energy and intensity, both offensively and defensively.
The second game against Hayden on Saturday, mirrored Friday’s game at Basalt in many ways. West Grand started both games with great intensity starting on the defensive side of the ball; hot shooting from the outside sparked their offense early, as Gabby Willson and Rheann Pesch hit a couple early threes to get the team started, but then the teams d e t e rmi n a t io n and hustle on the offensive boards kept it going. Against Basalt the Mustangs jumped out establishing a nice lead by the end of the first period 19-7. The ladies maintained their effort and went into half time ahead 32-14. In the third quarter both teams had a slow quarter on the offensive side of the ball as West Grand only scored four points to Basalts six. In the final period, both teams stepped up their plays as the Mustangs outscored the Longhorns by three, going on to win 49-30 at the final buzzer.
“We still need to work on maintaining our intensity throughout the entire game- -both games had slow third quarters– as well as making sure we take care of limiting the opponents’ offensive boards and second-chance shots,” said Coach Liz Bauer.
The Mustangs as a team had 43 rebounds to Basalt’s 25 rebounds. Individually, Peyton Bodemann scored 17 points, had 15 rebounds, two assists, three steals and one block. Pesch added 10 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals. Adding nine points was Willson and picked up five rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Anael Castillo scored six points and had two rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Sydney Ritschard had five points and three rebounds. Kayla DeSanti hauled in 11 rebounds.
West Grand hosted their last regular season home game on Saturday, as Hayden came to town but was sent home with a 44- 24 loss to the Mustangs. This was a night to celebrate the winter senior athletes. Charlee Manguso was the lone senior for the girls’ team. “I have appreciated all of her hard work and dedication over the years. She is the optima of a self-less teammate, never complaining and using her minutes she does get for optimal performance. Charlee will be greatly missed,” commented Coach Bauer.
In the first half, the Mustangs completely dominated the court on both side of the ball, taking a 31-8 lead into half time. The second half was a much slower half for the Mustangs as they only scored 13 points as Hayden stepped up their side of the ball a little doubling their score from the first putting 16 points up on the score board. Mustangs still went on to win by 20. Finishing the game with 19 points and 10 rebounds was Bodemann, shooting 73%. Willson added 10 points, five assists, three steals and a block. Pesch scored five points and had nine rebounds. Ritschard and Castillo each finished with four points. Hailey McNichols and Jerrika Jones both brought in five rebounds apiece. The team again finished with 43 rebounds. Coach Bauer added, “There are several individuals with stellar performances, but it is the team effort that wins and loses games. Both games were a true team effort with solid playing time for the players which only benefits our program and makes all our team better.”
The JV team was also successful in both games beating Basalt, 38-21, and had a 15-5 victory in a partial game, playing only two quarters, over Hayden.
The Mustangs have a big game this Friday against Vail Christian with district play-off implications. Coach Bauer said, even though we beat them earlier in the season, the Saints are playing well. I am confident that if our team is healthy and energized, we can have a great game! The JV plays at 3:00 p.m. and the Varsity starts at 6:00 p.m.