By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
The Southwestern Heights Mustangs bounced back from their opening round loss and from illness to top Lakin for the third time this season, 54-44.
“Just like everybody else we’re fighting illness,” Mustangs coach Nefro Saucedo said.
Starters Clayton Chase and Rogelio Martinez both were out with the flu Tuesday, and neither started Thursday.
“Cody Jennings and Brandon Kisner, both sophomores, played some big minutes and did some good things,” Saucedo said.
One of the keys to Heights victory was their free throw shooting. The Mustangs made 12 of 15 for the game, and 11 of 12 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
”We’ve spent a little more time on free throw shooting,” Saucedo said. “We’ve figured out that having a consequence for missed free throws in practice has helped us in games.”
After a 9-9 first quarter, Heights gained an advantage in the second quarter to take a 22-18 lead to halftime.
Heights stretched the lead to five with a 12-11 advantage in the third, and outscored Lakin 20-15 in the fourth.
Defensively, Height blocked nine shots to help their cause. Trevor Lee led the team with four.
Ben Johnsrud scored 14 points, including two 3-pointers, and 6 of 8 shooting at the free throw line.
Clayton Chase also scored 14 on 6 of 9 shooting, and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Nate Johnsrud added 10, including seven in the fourth quarter. Nate was also 2 of 3 from 3-point range.
Heghts (8-4) advances to the consolation game where they will face Elkhart. Elkhart defeated Satanta 55-35 in their second round game.