By SHAWN YORKS
Leader & Times
An old sports cliche’ is that defense wins games.
The Southwestern Heights Lady Mustangs may have proved that adage correct, using a stifling defense early and balanced scoring to down Johnson City Stanton County 71-23 Friday night at The Green House on the Campus of Seward County Community College in Liberal. The game was played in Liberal because of burst pipes at Southwestern Heights High School.
“I thought our defense came out and played pretty well in the first half,” Southwestern Heights head coach Barry Mellen said. “I think they (Stanton County) got a little frustrated because of our defense.”
The Lady Mustangs (11-2) held a distinct height advantage over the Lady Trojans — as the do with most opponents. But add a good defense ... “It’s going to be a tough situation for offenses,” Mellen said.
SWH spotted Stanton County a 2-0 lead, but that would be the only time the Lady Trojans would hold the lead. The Lady Mustangs went on a 21-2 run from that point, and held a 24-6 lead after the first quarter. SWH led 39-9 at one point in the second period and was up 43-13 at the half.
After a Chloe Coats free throw cut it to 2-1, Rachel Stout put the Lady Mustangs up 3-2, sparking a 9-0 run. Heidi Brown and Rebi Jacobs led the charge, as well, with Brown abd Marissa Angell picking up steals which led to easy baskets.
“(Stanton County) did a good job of penetrating (the defense), us taking the fouls because we don’t move our feet,” Mellen said.
The Lady Mustangs continued to roll in the third quarter, out-scoring the Lady Trojans 15-5 to lead 57-18 entering the fourth quarter, then ending the game on a 14-5 run.
Southwestern Heights will have its hands full on Tuesday night when the Beaver (Okla.) Lady Dusters come to town. Beaver is fresh off a big win over Laverne, Okla. on Friday night, are ranked in the top 10 in the state of Oklahoma and come in with a 20-2 overall record.
“They’re playing well,” Mellen said. “One good thing about playing Beaver is it’s a win-win situation. We play against good competition, we learn what some of our weaknesses are, we can work on those and get ready for on down the line.”
Scoring was fairly even on Friday, with Garinger leadng the charge with 13 points. Jacobs and Brown each added 12, Tatianna Chandler 7, Rachek Stout 6, Angell 5, Jackie Loya and Chloe Coats 4 each, Nayelly LaPoint and Tiana Couch 2 each.