By EARL WATT and RICK YEARICK
• Daily Leader
The Mustangs shot out of the gates in the first round of Sub-State action Monday, and the Goodland Cowboys couldn’t catch them in a 66-39 Mustang victory.
But Goodland made the long trip to Southwest Kansas with purpose.
Goodland jumped out to a 7-5 lead midway through the first quarter.
Heights did not have a lead until 5:37 to play when they took an 8-7 lead. The Mustangs continued to score, but a Cowboy three-pointer narrowed the Mustang advantage to 14-12.
The Mustang defense picked up the rest of the quarter and Heights used the long ball to build the lead including two three pointers by Oscar Sigala and another by Wes Winfrey. With two seconds remaining in the quarter, Cody Eakes hit a two-foot shot for the 21-12 lead.
Cory Ryan scored six points early, but a quick foul in the second quarter sent the senior to the bench.
Goodland went on a 9-4 run to cut the lead to 25-21.
Heights coach Chad Novack took a time out to stop the Cowboy momentum.
Jacob Flores responded to his coach’s conversation with a three-pointer, and the Mustangs went on a tear, outscoring Goodland 12-3 including a two-point bucket by Flores on a put-back shot as the half expired for a 37-24 Mustang lead.
Heights dominated the second half.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 52-34 lead in the third quarter, and Novack made massive substitutions the rest of the way for the 66-39 win.
Ryan led the Mustangs with 18 points. Winfrey had three three pointers and scored 15, Flores scored 14, Sigala had 12 points including three three pointers, and Eakes scored seven.
“We have to come out and play better defense from the beginning,” Novack said. “Once we got settled in, the boys played better. We still have to improve at shooting free throws. BUt I’m roud of the kids. We are playing our best ball at the right time of the year.”
The Mustangs will travel to Lakin Thursday and will face the winner of today’s Medicine Lodge-Cimarron game.