Photo by John Leyba, Mullen Sports Photographer

The 2018-19 girls basketball team at Hutchison Fieldhouse.

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Mustangs girls roll by 60 at Smoky

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

AURORA – On Friday night, Mullen superseded its victory total from a season ago and won by 60 points.

Plus, the Mustangs lost by 45 points to Grandview on Wednesday, so, yes, there was a lot to like about their 80-20 road victory at Smoky Hill in the Centennial League.

In moving to 9-6 overall, 4-2 in league and a game from completing the first go-round of the Centennial’s home-and-away slate, Mullen’s first real laugher was welcomed.

All 14 players scored, the starters didn’t see much floor time and the usual reserves enjoyed extended action.

“This was a good game for us,” Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley said. “We got to see what all of the kids can do. I do have confidence in them and now will try to fill their rolls. This was great for us.”

Abby Webster concurred. The sophomore was the last Mustang into the game and led the team with 12 points, the only player to attain double figures.

“It was really fun just to see everyone have a chance to play,” said Webster, who scored 10 of her points in the third quarter. “Even the starters were having a lot of fun on the bench cheering. I think we all enjoyed it.”

This one was over early as the Buffaloes, now 2-13 and 0-6, continue to try and battle through a tough time for the program and reloading under head coach Rick Harris. Mullen did whatever it wanted and breezed.

The Mustangs were 8-15 a season ago and so much more awaits them.

“I have a feeling there will be a few more,” Cawley said when acknowledging his team’s victory total. “All of those kids (who got into the game) are going to need to step up for us, no question. And we’re just getting a better idea of what they’re all about and what they can do. We’re going to need them.”

Webster, who had not scored this season, said the team compares itself to 2017-18 “sometimes, but I think we’re obviously way better than last year. Last year was a learning thing for us.”

 

MULLEN 80, SMOKY HILL 20

Mullen  26  28  20  6  – 80

Smoky Hill  3  7  6  4  –  20

Mullen – Pohs 3 0-0 8, Martinez 1 0-0 2, Dominguez 5 0-0 10, Gallegos 2 2-2 6, Im. Perez 4 2-2 10, Il. Perez 1 2-2 4, Van Horn 1 0-0 2, Oates-Stamm 2 0-0 4, Hart 2 4-8 8, Loukopoulos 2 0-0 4, Medina 1 1-2 3, Oswald 1 1-2 3, Elges 2 0-0 4, Webster 3 5-6 12. Totals 30 17-24 80.

Smoky Hill – Grambusch 4 1-3 9, Paige 0 0-0 0, Jay. Lindsey 1 1-4 3, Ekiko 2 0-0 4, Givens 1 0-2 2, Moore 0 0-2 0, Afoa 0 0-0 0, Cupp 0 0-1 0, Tuom 1 0-0 2, Taylor 0 0-2 0. Totals 9 2-14 20.

3-pt. goals – Pohs 2, Webster.

 

Hungry Wolves devour ‘Stangs by 45

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

AURORA -- It may have been over when Mullen arrived as these are the kinds of games that occur for the two-time defending Class 5A champions at Grandview.

For the record, the final score was 70-25 on Wednesday night in favor of the Wolves over the Mustangs, a one-sided Centennial League encounter that isn’t something new for the reigning big-school power.

And the Mustangs couldn’t – and didn’t – hang their heads. Now 11-3 overall and 5-0 in the loop, Grandview has had a tremendous run since the start of the 2011-12. The Wolves have an aggregate overall mark of 176-25 during the span as well as a 98-5 league record, including a Centennial winning streak of 53 games and six league championships.

 “(The Wolves) played extremely well,” Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley said. “And what I told them at halftime was to not hang their heads because there will be a lot of teams down 30 points to them at halftime.”

Actually, the Mustangs, who dipped to 8-6, 3-2, were only down by 27 points (36-9), but it was simply part of the blowout. Grandview also led 26-2 after a quarter and held a 48-7 bulge when combining the first and fourth quarters.

Cawley and his team knew what they were up against as Grandview has tremendous height and size – the Wolves have players listed at 6-foot-7, 6-4 and 6-2. It’s probably why Mullen had only one rebound in the first quarter.

“We worked on it and all of our kids did their best to get around them, but they’re just that big,” Cawley said.

Plus, the Mustangs had turnover problems and made only one of their first 11 shots.

Junior point guard Megan Pohs led Mullen with seven points.

“We tried dribble penetration against them and you can’t do that,” Cawley said. ’”They’re good on defense. We had a lot of looks, but all of a sudden here comes a hand …”

In the middle quarters, the scoring difference was only 22-18 and the Mustangs didn’t appear deflated. They will be back at it on Friday, 5:30 p.m., also in Aurora and against Smoky Hill.

“What we’re taking from this is we had great energy and we didn’t get down,” Cawley said. “We’re not as disappointed by getting beaten by that much, but we have a lot to learn and we’ll be ready for Friday.

“We came together as a team and I got to see some things from different kids. We’re going to make the best of it.”

 

GRANDVIEW 70, MULLEN 25

Mullen  2  7  11  5  -- 25

Grandview  26  10  12  22  --  70

Mullen – Pohs 3 0-0 7, Martinez 0 0-0 0, Gallegos 0 0-0 0, Van Horn 0 0-0 0, Im. Perez 2 2-2 6, Il. Perez 0 0-0 0, Dominguez 0 0-0 0, Hart 0 0-0 0, Oates-Stamm 1 0-0 3, Oswald 1 0-0 2, Webster 1 2-2 5, Elges 0 0-0 0, Medina 0 0-0 0, Loukopoulus 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 4-4 25.

Grandview – O’Grady 6 0-0 12, Hudson 2 0-2 5, Johnson 2 1-2 6, Marlett 2 0-0 5, Davis 5 2-2 12, Brown 1 2-3 5, Betts 9 1-4 19, Robinson 0 2-2 2, Campbell 0 2-2 2, Jones 1 0-0 2. Totals 28 10-16 70.

3-pt. goals – Oates-Stamm, Pohs, Webster; Brown, Johnson, Hudson, Marlett.

 

Iliana Perez paces 44-30 win at Eaglecrest

                                                                                                                               Photo by John Peyba, Mullen Sports Photographer

Mullen;s Alexa Dominguez battles inside against Eaglerest, top; point guard Megan Pohs also in action, below.

 

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sport Information Specialist

CENTENNIAL – It was one of those games for Mullen’s girls.

The Mustangs missed a bunch of layups, had turnover trouble and never really got into any kind of flow.

However, a younger team took another step forward on Saturday afternoon with a 44-30 victory at Eaglecrest in the Centennial League. Despite their problems, the Mustangs climbed to 8-5 overall, 3-1 in the league.

“As the team is progressing, there are some games we’re not expected to win and there are some games were expected to win,” Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley said, “but we just have to play our game and we didn’t today.”

No excuses, Cawley added, but the snowstorm on Friday forced school officials to cancel all activities and the Mustangs weren’t crisp the day before; however, they fought through difficulties and matched their victory total from a season ago.

Mullen received assorted contributions from more than a half-dozen players, but none were larger than the performance off the bench by senior Iliana Perez as well as the Mustangs team defense that held the Raptors (5-8, 1-3) to only one point in the third quarter. Perez not only scored a game-high 14 points, but also scored all seven of her team’s total in the third quarter.

“It wouldn’t be possible without my teammates,” Perez said of her opportunities to regularly provide a spark off the bench. “If they don’t get me the ball, I wouldn’t be able to score. So it’s all about us together and how well we play together.”

Perez was effective from the perimeter as well as going to the basket and frequently was in the middle of the defensive effort.

Freshman Imani Perez survived early foul trouble to add 11 points and point guard Megan Pohs added nine.

And on defense, the Mustangs surrendered just 30 points for the second time this season, superseded only by the 25 they gave up in their opener.

Thirteen Mustangs saw action to keep the list of contributors long and it will be needed – two-time defending Class 5A state champion Grandview will be their hosts on Wednesday and the Wolves edged Cherry Creek 54-53 on Saturday.

“We need to be able to do a better job of being mentally tough,” Cawley said. “They’re getting it and we played through it.

“I think we’re getting good looks, but we’re rushing things. It’s not a selfish thing. We just need to execute better.”

 

MULLEN 44, EAGLECREST 30

Mullen  11  12  7  14  --  44

Eaglecrest  5  9  1  15  --  30

Mullen – Pohs 3 1-1 9, Martinez 0 2-2 2, Gallegos 1 1-3 4, Van Horn 0 0-0 0, Im. Perez 4 3-4 11, Dominguez 0 0-0 0, Il. Perez 5 2-2 14, Hart 0 0-0 0, Medina 0 1-2 1, Oswald 0 0-0 0, Oates-Stamm 1 0-0 3, Elges 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 10-14 44.

Eaglecrest – Ross 2 2-3 7, Turner 2 1-2 5, Thornton 3 0-0 6, Coleman 1 2-5 4, Dixon 1 0-0 2, Lewis 1 0-0 2, Blethen 0 1-2 1, Back 0 0-0 0, Unrein 0 0-0 0, Dickens 1 0-0 3. Totals 11 6-12 30.

3-pt. goals – Pohs 2, Il. Perez 2, Gallegos, Oates-Stamm; Dickens, Ross.

 

Feeding off subs, 'Stangs beat Cougars

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

AURORA -- One word about Wednesday night’s Mullen victory at Cherokee Trail.

Depth.

The Mustangs had been hoping for it, developing it and not necessarily ready to display it, but now they know it’s there.

Their hard-fought 60-54 decision improved their overall record to 7-5 – one victory shy of the past season’s total and there are 11 Centennial games remaining – and 2-1 in the loop.

Basically, they opened up a sub shop and cleaned up.

“I think the thing I was most impressed with was this was the first time the whole, entire team showed some composure,” Mullen head coach Frank Cawley said.

He wasn’t kidding. The Mustangs trailed early and often (the first quarter ended in a 14-6 deficit), so Cawley didn’t blink – he benched starters Megan Pohs, Elian Martinez, Gracie Gallegos, Haley Van Horn and Imani Perez. First player off the bench Alexa Dominguez also sat down for a bit. Entering as the next five were Grace Oswald, Jordyn Medina, Colleen Hart, Abby Webster 0 0-0 0 and Makenna Elges. Not far behind were Iliana Perez, Jessica Oates-Stamm and Demitra Loukopoulos.

It worked. Mullen trailed only 25-20 at halftime, took over in the third quarter and successfully fended off the Cougars (7-4), who also suffered their first league loss in three outings.

“I need the girls on the bench to know I have confidence in them,” Cawley said.

Pohs, all-league a season ago as a freshman point guard, said there were no problems with leaving the floor early.

“I think it was a good thing he took us out and we kind of regrouped together,” she said. “We started slow when he sat us and we got our game back. That was really good.”

So was Pohs, who led the team with 17 points, 13 in the second half. Iliana Perez added a much-needed 13.

But the big segments and instances abounded throughout the roster. Pohs and Gallegos each turned in three-point plays at key times. While 6-foot-2 freshman Imani Perez had gotten into foul trouble, she actually played well and made 7-of-9 free throws for nine points. Iliana Perez had two interesting stretches, one in which she helped to break the press and breezed theorugh the Cougars’ defense for an awkward layup under pressure; another when she rattled home a 3-pointer.

Martinez contributed eight points and Dominguez, defended, rebounded and battled inside. And Gallegos added nine points.

“We were able to battle through some stuff. Iliana really is a spark off the bench and it was bold,” Cawley said of subbing five-for-five. “Our starters weren’t ready. But the composure by the whole team was big for us in a tough game against a tough, physical team.

“It was a true team win all the way around.”

The second of four consecutive road games will be Saturday, Jan. 12, 1 p.m., at Eaglecrest in Centennial.

 

MULLEN 60, CHEROKEE TRAIL 54

Mullen  6  14  19  21  --  60

Cherokee Trail  14 11  8  21  –  54

Mullen – Pohs 5 5-5 17, Martinez 3 0-0 8, Gallegos 2 5-9 9, Van Horn 1 0-0 2, Im. Perez 1 7-9 9, Dominguez 0 0-0 0, Oswald 1 0-2 2, Medina 0 0-0 0, Hart 0 0-0 0, Webster 0 0-0 0, Elges 0 0-0 0, Il. Perez 5 2-2 13, Oates-Stamm 0 0-0 0, Loukopoulos 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 19-27 60.

Cherokee Trail – Rodriguez 5 6-6 17, Paulk 7 2-4 16, Hemingway 6 4-6 19, Neyland 0 2-4 2, Fason 0 0-2 0, Pare 0 0-0 0, Collins 0 0-0 0, Singleton 0 0-0 0, Villegas 0 0-0 0, Culbreath 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 14-22 54.

3-pt. goals – Pohs 2, Martinez 2, Il. Perez; Hemingway 3, Rodriguez.  

 

Mustangs rebound, tame Arapahoe 55-47

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It came with both good and bad, and it made them sweat a bit late as well as turn somewhat anxious, but Mullen’s Mustangs will take the victory, thank you.

On Saturday afternoon, the Mustangs ultimately fended off an always game Arapahoe to win 55-47 at Hutchison Fieldhouse. In improving to 6-5 overall and leveling its Centennial League mark at 1-1, the Mustangs probably won it with their first-half surge, although their ability to protect late while experiencing difficulties also loomed large.

“It’s a big win,” head coach Frank Cawley said. “That’s a good win and we needed it for the RPI (playoff seeding). We panicked a little bit, but we did better than we had done in the (Phoenix tournament before Christmas).”

In rolling to a 35-22 halftime lead, Mullen was very warm from the perimeter, canning 9-of-14 shots from 3-point range, four each by sophomore guards Elaina Martinez and Megan Pohs. Haley Van Horn added another. However, Arapahoe (3-7, 0-2) stayed within range in the third quarter, then made a move over the final 8 minutes.

“Jerry’s team,” Cawley said of coach Knafelc’s Warriors, “is always good and when he stacked their shooters on the one side, that showed how good they can be.”

The Warriors twice got within six points in the closing minutes and some of it was aided by shoddy play by the Mustangs, who suffered a rash of turnovers and were just 5-of-11 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

But steady play by freshmen Imani Perez and Gracie Gallegos helped to seal it. Perez backed up Pohs (17 points) and Martinez (13) with 12 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots, and Gallegos scored all six of her points in the final quarter, including a big 3-pointer from the left corner that halted the Warriors’ momentum.

“We all passed the ball real well, got it in and out, and found open shots,” Perez said. While the 6-foot-2 freshman, who is catching a lot of eyes with her regular inside play, admitted that playing at this level “is definitely new for me, but it’s going to be good. We’ve really improved.”

Van Horn, a sophomore, continued to contribute inside play and defense along with five points, and another sophomore, Alexa Dominguez, provided a noticeable spark off the bench with seven rebounds, getting to loose balls and increasing the tempo on the defensive end.

“Alexa can basically play any position and she’s a coach’s dream,” Cawley said. “Amani played well and so did so many of the other girls.”

On a day in which the Mustangs saluted their most-recent state-championship team, the 2005-06 group that beat Regis Jesuit 37-36 at the University of Colorado’s Coors Events Center in Boulder, they made 11 3-pointers in getting past Thursday’s home blowout loss against Cherry Creek.

“I’m proud of how our kids handled it,” Cawley said. “We need to work on our press and our free throws, but you know what – it’s a win.”

Mullen next four games, all in league, will be on the road, basically two per week the rest of the regular season. On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the Mustangs will be at Cherokee Trail in Aurora, followed by Saturday, Jan. 12, at Eaglecrest in Centennial. Tip-offs are scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

 

MULLEN 55, ARAPAHOE 47

Arapahoe  14  8  8  17 --  47

Mullen  18  17  10  10  --  55

Arapahoe – March 4 2-3 12, Smahelova 2 2-2 6, Wortman 1 2-5 4, McClarie 2 2-4 8, Crispe 0 3-6 3, Edwards 1 0-0 2, Cadorette 1 2-4 5, Delaney 3 1-1 7, Shaw 0 0-0 0, Golden 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 14-27 47.

Mullen – Pohs 5 2-2 17, Martinez 4 1-2 13, Gallegos 1 3-5 6, Van Horn 2 0-0 5, Im. Perez 5 2-6 12, Il. Perez 1 0-0 2, Dominguez 0 0-0 0, Oswald 0 0-0 0, Loukopoulos 0 0-0 0, Hart 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-15 55.

3-pt. goals – March 2, McClarie 2, Cadorette; Pohs 5, Martinez 4, Gallegos, Van Horn.

 

Bruins bash Mustangs in league opener

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Back in Colorado after a 1-3 showing in a national tournament in Phoenix, Mullen ran into a similar problem.

The Mustangs couldn’t make very many shots.

In their first outing since the holiday break, the Mustangs dropped their Centennial League openeron Thursday evening, 57-32 to Cherry Creek at Hutchison Fieldhouse.

In falling to 5-5 overall, Mullen lost control and its competitive edge over the middle two quarters by getting outscored by a combined 33-12, shooting just 5-of-21 from the floor and being unable to deal with Bruins junior star guard Jana Van Gytenbeek.

In losing their three out-of-state games by a combined 13 points, it was a familiar theme for head coach Frank Cawley.

“We couldn’t make a shot and it has been the story through the whole deal,” the coach said. “And then we needed to match (the Bruins’) intensity and we didn’t.”

Mullen traded punches early with Cherry Creek (6-2) and appeared to be dug in for a fight. However, the poor shooting was magnified by the play of Van Gytenbeek, who’s bound for Stanford and showed why again. She scored 16 of her game-high 24 points over the game’s middle 16 minutes, darting to the basket and finding open teammates, and having success guarding Mullen’s all-league player, sophomore guard Megan Pohs.

“I think we’ve got kids that don’t match that talent,” Cawley said, “but they are also talented. I think we’re kind of playing defeatists and that’s the next thing we need to learn, to be mentally tough.”

The Cherry Creek bulge reached 20 points in the third quarter and the Bruins didn’t give up much inside or outside.

For the Mustangs, freshman Imani Perez again led the way, totaling 10 points. Six other Mustangs scored, but none had more than five points. Imani Perez, Iliana Perez, Pohs, Haley Van Horn and Gracie Gallegos led most of the charge, particularly in first-half defense, but finding ways to generate offense and keep the score within range are next steps for a young team.

“I’m proud of the defensive effort in the first half, holding a team like that to 26 points in the first half was good,” Cawley said. “We’ve got some young kids and they’re learning how to play. When we share the ball, we’re good. The thing to impress on them is not to quit when they make mistakes ... I think they’re so afraid of making a mistake, but I don’t understand why that is. We need to learn that it’s all right to make a mental mistake. I don’t expect them to be perfect.”

The Mustangs will have another league matchup before classes resume next week. They will host Arapahoe in league play on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 1:30 p.m. at Hutchison Fieldhouse.

 

CHERRY CREEK 59, MULLEN 32

Cherry Creek  11  15  18  13  --  59

Mullen  10  3  9  10  -- 32

Cherry Creek – Van Gytenbeek 9 5-5 24, Clark 3 0-0 6, Kyle 4 1-2 10, Gordon 0 1-2 1, Fein-Ashley 1 4-4 6, Wrede 2 0-0 6, Sparaco 0 0-0 0, Thompson 1 0-0 2, Hill 2 0-0 4. Totals 22 11-13 57.

Mullen – Pohs 2 0-0 5, Martinez 1 0-0 3, Gallegos 2 1-2 5, Van Horn 0 0-0 0, Im. Perez 4 2-4 10, Il. Perez 1 1-2 3, Dominguez 2 0-0 4, Elges 0 0-0 0, Webster 0 0-0 0, Oates-Stamm 0 0-0 0, Oswald 1 0-0 2, Hart 0 0-0 0, Loukopoulos 0 0-0 0, Medina. Totals 13 4-8 32.

3-pt. goals – Kyle, Van Gytenbeek; Martinez, Pohs.

 

Mustangs lose 2 more in Phoenix tourney

Mullen dropped its third consecutive game in the Nike Tournament of Champions on Friday in Phoenix, a one-point setback to a California team.

The Mustangs fell to 4-4 after a 37-36 loss to West Campus.

Mullen had led 10-3 early, but was outscored 17-8 over the final 8 minutes.

Freshman Imani Perez led the Mustangs with 17 points and sophomore Elaina Martinez added 11.

On Thursday, the Mustangs lost 59-56 to another California team, Sacred Heart Cathedral, after leading 29-23 at halftime. The Fightin’ Irish of San Francisco outscored Mullen 18-11 in the third quarter to take command.

Sophomore Megan Pohs led Mullen with 28 points. Imani Perez and Iliana Perez each added nine.

The Mustangs will finish tournament play on Saturday, when they will have a matchup at Mesquite High at 11:30 a.m. And it will be against Parker's Chaparral in one of the oddities of playing in out-of-state tournaments -- teams can still face familiar foes. 

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

 

Nike opener dropped; 46-37 loss

Mullen dropped its opener in the Nike Tournament of Champions on Wednesday, a 46-37 defeat to Oak Ridge, Tenn., at the Salvation Army KROC Center in Phoenix.

Freshmen Gracie Gallegos and Imani Perez each had 10 points for the Mustangs, who trailed 16-5 in the first quarter in falling to 4-2 in 2018-19.

However, it will change quickly – it was the first of four games over four days. On Thursday, 4 p.m. Mountain Time, Mullen will meet Sacred Heart Cathedral, Calif.

The Mustangs are in the field’s Mike Bracket; so is Parker’s Chaparral, which also lost its first game, 59-30 to Christian, Calif.

---  Neil H. Devlin

 

Mustangs take down 2-time 4A champs

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen’s Mustangs want may want to grab some Sharpies and autograph Wednesday night’s effort.

It was a signature victory.

The Mustangs downed two-time defending Class 4A state champion Evergreen 44-42 at Hutchison Fieldhouse in a nonleague, back-and-forth nail-biter. Mullen moved to 4-1 and fared quite well on the heels of its first loss, to 5A perennial power and parochial-rival Regis Jesuit.

And don’t under-estimate what the Mustangs did – the Cougars, now 2-2, were a combined 75-9 over the previous three seasons, had competed in the past three 4A title games and entered 2018-19 with the very good Claudia Dillon.

“A big one for us,” Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley said. “We had some issues, but we answered the bell. Good teams make runs, we all know that, and (the Cougars) are a good team. But we’re a good team, too.”

Down the stretch, a very versatile Mullen trailed 36-30 befoe emaking its move. Sophomore point guard Megan Pohs scored seven of her team-high 14 points in the final quarter, notably a big 3-pointer and a couple of free throws in the final seconds to seal it. Freshman Gracie Gallegos added a basket and two free throws with 45 seconds to play that gave the Mustangs the lead for good.

And there were more. Gallegos, Haley Van Horn, Elaina Martinez, Imani Perez and Iliana Perez turned in a lot of defense. Alexis Dominguez, Jessica Oates-Stamm and Grace Oswald also found themselves in the mix of a game in which the largest lead was seven points, 20-13 in favor of Mullen, late in the second quarter.

“Not that many got to play, but, honestly, everybody was into it, everybody was awesome,” Cawley said.

Pohs, who did a lot of the ball-handling, said “I think we’ve definitely improved from last year. We’ve won the respect we deserve. And a lot of it was defense. It’s what wins a lot of games.”

The Mustangs needed it – Dillon, an all-stater and a senior bound for Missouri to play volleyball, went for 25 points, scored 15 of her team’s 19 points in the first half and was a constant presence inside all game. But the Mustangs interior defense didn’t quit, even when the Cougars threatened to keep the lead.

“We didn’t fold,” Cawley said. “And I said it after we lost to Regis -- we expect to win. That just changes the mindset. We expect to win. We were up by one at halftime and you would have thought the girls were losing by 20.”

Next up for Mullen is a trip to Phoenix for the Nike Tournament of Champions, Wednesday-Saturday, Dec. 18-22. The Mustangs will open against the Oak Ridge Wildcats, Tenn.

After Pohs, Gallegos and Martinez were next with eight points each and Iliana Perez had six.

 

MULLEN 44, EVERGREEN 42

Evergreen  10  9  13  10  -- 42

Mullen  12  8  10  14  -- 44

Evergreen – Levine 3 4-4 10, Baungardt 1 0-0 2, Gibson 1 0-0 2, H. Dillon 0 0-2 0, C. Dillon 9 7-9 25, Cimler 0 0-0 0, Leinen 0 0-0 0, Stewart 1 0-0 3. Totals 15 11-13 42.

Mullen – Pohs 5 2-2 14, Martinez 3 0-0 8, Gallegos 3 2-2 8, Van Horn 1 0-0 2, Im. Perez 2 0-0 4, Il. Perez 2 1-2 6, Dominguez 1 0-0 2, Oates-Stamm 0 0-0 0, Oswald 0 0-2 0. Totals 17 5-8 44.

3-pt. goals – Stewart; Martinez 2, Pohs 2, Il. Perez.

 

'Stangs meet the best, fall to 5A Raiders

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

AURORA – They were handed their first defeat of the season, but their overall picture got even bigger.

Mullen’s 66-40 nonleague loss at rival Regis Jesuit on Wednesday night was, say, inevitable as the Raiders are ranked as high as No. 23 nationally, but it also was a setback lined with learning.

The younger Mustangs, now 3-1, got a taste of the best Colorado has to offer and they discovered they can handle it.

“The start of the game, we were right there,” Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley said. “It was a single-digit game … but in the second half they only outscored us by five points, so we were not afraid. We played hard and I’m happy. I’m not happy that we lost, but I am happy with the effort and happy with the attitude.”

In a nutshell, it was close early as Regis Jesuit managed a 13-10 first-quarter lead. Then the bottom fell out for the Mustangs over the next 8 minutes as the Raiders increased the pace, dominated inside, played good defense, including on the perimeter, and shot it well from outside. Plus, as she’s sure to do regularly this season, senior Fran Belibi showed why she’s a preseason All-American and bound for Stanford. She scored 16 points in the first half and 14 of her team’s first 21. She rebounded, passed for baskets, blocked shots and established her presence down low whenever she wished.

Plus, the Raiders’ Avery Van Sickle and Jada Moore helped fuel a 26-8 run that decided the game.

Mullen, fresh from winning the ThunderRidge/Castle View Tournament, hung around after halftime, much to Cawley’s delight, and gained experience that was new for many on the roster and will be used the rest of the season.

“Honestly, that’s the level we want to get to,” Cawley said. “All 14 girls got to see the competition. That’s the level, that’s the intensity, that’s the standard. We’ll bring it to practice, try to emulate it and I think we got better.”

Regis Jesuit coach Carl Matteir said his team, now 4-0, ranked No. 23 by USA Today and No. 25 by MaxPreps, “probably still had its California legs in the first quarter,” after returning from its first of two out-of-state trips, but said he was impressed with the improvement of the Mustangs from a season ago.

“They did a very good job, they’re very competitive and have improved tons,” he said. “That big kid (freshman Imani Perez) in the middle changes everything. Those little guards (sophomores Megan Pohs and Elaina Martinez) are fantastic. Frank’s a good coach, they’re quite active and I’d say by February they’ll be playing very well.”

In all, Belibi scored 25 points despite going 1-of-9 on free throws. Van Sickle had 18 and Moore 11.

For the Mustangs, Pohs led the way with 11 points and Imani Perez scored 10. Only four other Mustangs scored, including six points each for Martinez and Iliana Perez.

Cawley also said sophomore Haley Van Horn actually fared very well battling against Belibi, particularly early.

The great thing overall, he added, was his team met the best and didn’t blink.

“(The Raiders) are a top-ranked team for a reason, but I think we’ll be there, too,” Cawley said. “I think we came in here and expected to win, and I think that’s very exciting.”

 

REGIS JESUIT 66, MULLEN 40

Mullen  10  8  14  8  -- 40

Regis Jesuit  13  26  12  15  --  66

Mullen – Pohs 5 0-0 11, Martinez 2 0-0 6, Gallegos 0 0-2 0, Van Horn 1 0-0 2, Im. Perez 4 2-2 10, Dominguez 1 0-0 2, Il. Perez 2 0-0 6, Hart 0 0-0 0, Medina 0 0-0 0, Elges 0 0-0 0, Webster 0 0-0 0, Oates-Stamm 1 0-0 3, Loukopoulos 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 2-4 40.

Regis Jesuit – Belibi 12 1-9 25, Van Sickle 7 0-0 18, Moore 5 0-0 11, Jones 3 0-0 6, S. Wiegand 2 0-0 4, McHugh 0 1-3 1, G. Wiegand 0 1-2 1, Mulbarger 0 0-1 0. Totals 29 3-15 66.

3-pt. goals – Martinez 2, Il. Perez 2, Oates-Stamm, Pohs; Van Sickle 4, Moore.

  

Now 3-0, Mustangs take tourney title

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

CASTLE ROCK -- Early season promise is turning into reality for Mullen girls basketball.

The Mustangs won their third consecutive game on Saturday night to capture the ThunderRidge/Castle View Tournament. They beat Centennial League-rival Cherokee Trail 48-42 at Castle View.

A year ago, Mullen began the season 0-5.

By outscoring the Cougars in each of the first three quarters, Mullen led 16-9 early and held it.

Freshman Imani Perez piled up a team-high 23 points. Megan Pohs (eight) and Iliana Perez (seven) were next.

Mullen also won despite making only three 3-pointers and shooting 18-of-32 at the free-throw line. Pohs made 5-of-6 free throws and Imani Perez was 8-of-11.

The schedule will get tougher on Wednesday, Dec. 7, when the Mustangs will head to Aurora to take on Regis Jesuit, the 2017-18 state runner-up.

 

Mullen moves to 2-0, downs Castle View

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

CASTLE ROCK -- Behind Iliana and Imani Perez, Mullen’s snappy start to its girls basketball season continued.

The two both scored in double figures and combined for 27 points on Friday night as the Mustangs beat host Castle View 58-50 in the ThunderRidge/Castle View Tournament.

Iliana Perez, a senior, scored 15 points and Imani Perez, a freshman, added 12 as Mullen moved to 2-0. It will take on Cherokee Trail, which beat Broomfield in overtime, in a tourney finale on Saturday, 7 p.m.

The Class 5A SaberCats, 20-5 a season ago, are 1-1.

One aspect of the early season for the Mustangs besides their defense has been their depth and it was on display again on Friday – six other players scored. Freshman Gracie Gallegos scored nine, sophomore point guard Megan Pohs had eight. Sophomore Haley Van Horn, riddled by injury a year ago, added five.

 

Smashing start

Mustangs impressive in debut, punish Grand Jct. 64-25

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

CASTLE ROCK – For openers, the returning players are a year older, stronger and smarter, and the newer members of the roster appeared to fit in nicely.

So, yes, what a difference a season can make.

Ask Mullen’s girls basketball members. In 2017-18, they began 0-5 and had a team dominated by underclassmen.

In 2018-19, they still have a roster dominated by underclassmen, but the savvy and lack of fear was obvious on opening night. Mullen drubbed Class 5A Grand Junction 64-25 on Wednesday night in the first round of the 5th ThunderRidge/Castle View Tip-Off Tournament.

Of course, Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley was thrilled.

“Very happy, very happy,” he said. “It was a team win. The starters played great defense and the bench came in and kept the pressure on (the Tigers).

“We talked earlier, but if they take their roles, they can be pretty good.”

Mullen took pretty much everything and right from the outset. Even though its scoring came slowly, its defense set a tone Grand Junction didn’t handle. The Mustangs picked up their scoring down the stretch of the first quarter to lead 16-3, built it to 32-8 at half and 57-16 through 24 minutes.

Grand Junction also fell under the mercy rule over the fourth quarter – a lead of 35-or-more points during the final 8 minutes – and had 31 turnovers, perhaps nearly as many self-generated as courtesy of a sticky Mullen defense. Sophomore guard Elaina Martinez, known more for her 3-point shooting, actually helped pick up the pace through defense in the second quarter, when she led a surge of steals for easy baskets.

“It was a great first victory for us, especially coming back from last year’s losing record,” she said. “I worked on defense over the summer, got better and it transferred over to this game.”

Mullen flirted with holding Grand Junction scoreless from the field over each of the first two quarters before the Tigers made baskets in each of the final minutes.

The list was long for Mullen in terms of contributors. A now healthy Haley Van Horn, a sophomore, had a lot of moments inside as did freshmen Gracie Gallegos and Imani Perez. Out front, returning Centennial League first-teamer Megan Pohs led the way with 14 points. Martinez contributed eight points as did Imani Perez and sister Iliana Perez, off the bench. Jessica Oates-Stamm scored 11 off the bench as all 12 who saw court time contributed in one fashion or others.

Cawley sensed a good beginning, but had to see it. And it was laced with more height and defense, two facets foreign to the past season.

“Everybody we played was pretty solid and fundamentally sound,” the coach said of his team’s first game. “The difference between this year and last year was we had to rely on zones. Now, we don’t.”

Next up for Mullen is a second-round game on Friday, 7 p.m., at Castle View.

 

MULLEN 64, GRAND JUNCTION 25

Mullen 16  16  25  7  –  64

Grand Junction 5  3  8  9  – 25

Mullen – Pohs 5 2-2 14, Martinez 3 0-0 8, Gallegos 3 1-1 7, Van Horn 1 0-0 2, Im. Perez 2 4-4 8, Il. Perez 3 1-2 8, Dominguez 2 0-0 4, Medina 1 0-0 2, Hart 0 0-0 0, Oates-Stamm 5 0-0 11, Webster 0 0-0 0, Loukopoulos 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 8-9 64.

Grand Junction – Paradiso 3 1-2 8, B. Laffler 2 0-1 4, Deters 0 0-0 0, DeGeorge 1 0-0 2, Hanlon 1 2-2 4, Buckley 1 0-0 2, Archuleta 1 0-0 2, L. Laffler 0 1-4 1, Yang 0 0-1 0, Paumen 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 4-10 25.

3-pt. goals – Martinez 2, Pohs 2, Oates-Stamm, Il. Perez; Paradiso.

 

WINTER PREVIEW ’18-19

Mustangs have high potential and expectations to match

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

(Note: Second in a series of previews for the 2018-19 winter season.)

A group that took its lumps the previous season is back, a year older, a year smarter and virtually intact, and has added a few new pieces and faces.

And it may hand out a few lumps of its own.

Mullen girls basketball, so young and inexperienced a year ago, got off to an 0-5 start before settling in and finishing 8-15 against a demanding schedule. Fifteen of 18 Mustangs who suited up a season ago are back, and so is veteran coach Frank Cawley, now in his 12th year in command.

He offers a simple sentence when referencing his team’s outlook for 2018-19.

“If they just worry about what they have to do,” he said, “we’ll be OK.”

Point guard Megan Pohs, all-Centennial League as a freshman, is back after displaying abilities to run the team as well as shoot from outside and get to the lane. Senior forward Iliana Perez, a second-team all-Centennial choice, provides know-how as well as a fast-paced, streakiness to her game. Spot-up shooter Elaina Martinez returns as a sophomore and two freshmen, Gracie Gallegos and Imani Perez, may prove interesting. Cawley said Gallegos can shoot it, defends well and has a feel for the game, and Perez (6-foot-2) gives the Mustangs a much-needed inside presence in addition to being able to run well and play with her back to the basket.

Several others are vying for minutes, which also may add an intriguing freshness to the Mustangs’ rotation.

Some 52 Mustangs are in the program as they join Cherry Creek and Grandview as the only league schools to also field freshmen teams.

“If we know our roles and are able to accept them, and if they all do their jobs like in the Bill Belichick thing, we could be pretty good,” Cawley said.

Again, Mullen will be 4A and spice its regular-season schedule with big schools. It will open play on Wednesday – girls basketballers will be the first Mullen team to play in the winter season – in Castle Rock at the Castle View Tournament. First up is a game against Grand Junction, 5:30 p.m., and the tournament will continue through Dec. 1.

Also included in nonleague are matchups against Regis Jesuit and Evergreen, the two-time defending 5A and 4A state champions, respectively; a trip to Phoenix to play in a segment of the Nike Tournament of Champions; and a meeting with an always good Holy Family.

As for the Centennial, there will be home-and-away games versus some of the state’s largest schools.

 

Girls hoopers have been hot this summer

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Hot team, summer in the city … and beyond. Mullen girls basketball recently enjoyed an encouraging stretch, combining for a 13-1 showing in two off-season get-togethers.

The Mustangs went 7-0 in a tournament at Gold Crown in Lakewood as well as 6-1 in a gathering at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

“We were very pleased,” head coach Frank Cawley said.

With only two seniors among a group potential varsity group primarily comprised of sophomores and freshman, the Mustangs’ lone blemish was a three-point setback to regular 4A challenger Holy Family.

Sophomore point guard Megan Pohs, coming off a terrific freshman season, again played well, Cawley said, and the addition of incoming freshman Imani Perez, who’s already 6-foot-2, is welcomed.

“She played really, really well,” Cawley said, “and really adds a whole, other dimension.”

Perez is the younger sister of Mustangs senior-to-be Illiana Perez, who also played well in stretches, Cawley said.

The Mustangs, who were to play in the Colorado Springs area before the event was cancelled, also enjoyed some success as well as struggles on lower levels, but have been on a steady climb. Not only this summer, but also in the spring, Cawley said, as well as “with the open gyms and overall participation, it has been really good. We had 30-plus girls at every workout, which is phenomenal.

“I think there’s a really good enthusiasm for the program from the freshman all the way through (varsity).”

 

Winter postseason honors for various Mustangs

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Various Mustangs were named to all-league and all-state teams for winter sports.

Mullen had three players in all-league basketball and two others for all-state in ice hockey.

For girls, freshman Megan Pohs was named to the Centennial League’s first team and junior Iliana Perez was selected for the second team.

Eight players were named to the first team and Pohs, a speedy guard who can play the point position as well as shoot outside and go to the basket, was the only player outside of two-time defending Class 5A state champion Grandview and Cherry Creek to make the group. She also was the only freshman named to the team.

“She was truly the heart and soul of a very young varsity team,” said Mustangs coach Frank Cawley. “She has tremendous basketball awareness and displays a competitive fire that is contagious. She has a great future in the program and we are looking forward to next season.”

Pohs was second on the team in scoring (9.0 points), and led the Mustangs in assists (4.0) and minutes played.

Perez, a swing player who also helped out front, “is a true offensive talent who battled injuries,” Cawley said, “but assumed a leadership role on the floor with a young varsity team. Iliana has shown great improvement on and off the court (the past season) and the team is looking to her continued growth next year as a senior.”

Perez averaged 8.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals.

Mullen was 8-15 and missed the 4A playoffs.

For boys, junior Christian Davis was named to the Centennial’s second team. The 6-foot guard led the Mustangs in scoring (11.6 points) and was one of the league’s top 3-point shooters, making 46 percent of his attempts.

A regular starter who also averaged nearly two assists, Davis’ shooting range is considerable

“Yeah,” Mustangs coach Bob Caton said, “I think the way he shot the ball and that he was our top scorer and he was kind of our marked man … (opposing teams) had to try to stop him.”

On the ice, senior Matt Byerly wrapped up a banner season by being named all-state honorable mention. The center also was voted team MVP, played in the senior all-star game (he also scored a goal), led the Mustangs with 23 goals and topped the state in power-play scores with eight.

Connor Mahon, a freshman who does not attend Mullen but joins the Mustangs through a co-op, also made all-state honorable mention as a goalie.

In addition, Byerly, Mahon and John Witwer also made academic first-team all-state.

  

Mustangs girls end learning, growing season

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It turned out to be the way Frank Cawley thought it would be … and that goes for the game as well as the season.

“No question,” the Mullen head coach said.

On Friday night, the Mustangs fell victim to Class 5A defending state champion and perennial Centennial League power Grandview. The Wolves pasted the Mustangs 63-29 at Hutchison Fieldhouse as there was never any doubt about the outcome.

And as for the season, Mullen finished 8-15 overall, 5-9 in league, dropped three consecutive games and ended out of the playoffs (they would have played in 4A).

Both weren’t acceptable, but expected. Such is life against mostly 5A competition and in the Centennial when the roster contains only three seniors – only two who actually played before Friday -- is dominated by freshmen and experience was being attained on the fly.

However, the night included saying goodbye to seniors, getting Noelle Van Horn her first minutes and points of the season, watching some of the best Colorado has to offer and looking toward next season as if it started moments after the game.

“It was nice,” Cawley said. “(The Wolves) are one of the best teams in the state and we’re young. We would have been much better if Noelle got to play, but it was nice and she got to play with her sister, which was really cool. It was a nice moment for the family … that’s really what this is about. Those types of things are why I do this.”

Noelle Van Horn has two bulging discs and did not get her first action until she started the game. She scored, was removed, came back again and rolled in another basket, possibly the most important and gratifying points of her career that still contains promise.

“It was awesome,” she said. “It was a real special experience for me to have my teammates cheer me on in my last basketball game of the season and my first game of the season.”

Still looking at colleges, Van Horn said she’d like to play again “if my back decides it wants to feel better.”

Her sister, Haley, a freshman, also saw action and scored.

“There are no words to describe the feeling I had tonight about my teammates, my coaches and the crowd,” Noelle said.

And of her second shot of the game that also went in, it bounced around the rim a bit before dropping through the net. And she saw every movement of the ball.

“Yeah, I went out with a bang,” she said.

She and her sister are the daughters of former NBA player Keith Van Horn.

As for the game, coach Josh Ulitzky and his Wolves were thorough, never trailed, led 44-9 at halftime and probably could have named the score. But Grandview subbed regularly, rode all-stater Leilah Vigil’s 22 points, completed its third consecutive undefeated Centennial season and has now won 48 consecutive league games. The Wolves are 20-3, 14-0, and figure to occupy a prominent place in the 5A bracket that is due to be released on Sunday.

For Mullen, freshman Elaina Martinez scored nearly half of her team’s points in finishing with 12 as the off-season arrived, but not before thanking some 12th-graders as well as looking forward with underclassmen.

“What I told them afterwards was we usually are a top-10-or-15 team in the state and we’ll return to that,” Cawley said. “I told them tonight I’m ready to start tomorrow. But I told the girls before the game tomorrow means different things … they have to take advantage of the moment.

“We grew and we learned a lot. None of them were scared and I’ll watch film over the summer and we’ll put together an attack and an idea.

“And we’ll be back.”

 

GRANDVIEW 63, MULLEN 29

Grandview 24 20 13 6 – 63

Mullen          7  2  7  13 – 29

Grandview – Galloway 1 0-0 2, Davis 3 2-4 8, O’Grady 2 0-0 4, Vigil 7 8-8 22, Marlett 4 1-4 10, Hudson 2 1-2 7, Johnson 1 1-2 3,  Brown 2 1-2 5, Serrano 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 14-23 63.

Mullen – Pohs 0 0-0 0, Martinez 4 2-3 12, Robles 1 0-0 2, Eidenmueller 0 0-0 0, N. Van Horn 2 0-0 4, Dominguez 2 0-0 4, Oswald 0 1-2 1, Elges 1 0-1 2, Medina 1 0-0 2, Drozda 0 0-0 0, Webster 0 0-0 0, Hart 0 0-0 0, Hawkins 0 0-0 0, Loukopolous 0 0-0 0, H. Van Horn 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 3-6 29.

3-pt. goals – Hudson 2, Marlett; Martinez 2.

Young Mustangs surprising listless in setback to Cougars

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Frank Cawley has seen lots of Mullen girls basketball. Some good. Some bad. And some in between.

But the head coach saw a standard set on Thursday night, when the Mustangs fell 56-46 to visiting Cherokee Trail in Centennial League play at Hutchison Fieldhouse.

And it wasn’t a good one.

“It was the worst since I’ve been here,” Cawley said. “We were just flat from the get-go. We were throwing the ball out of bounds, throwing it to the other team, we were passing up open shots … I’ve never seen anything like it.”

In falling to 8-13 overall, 5-7 in league, the Mustangs also are now tied with the Cougars on both marks. Mullen’s victory over Smoky Hill on Wednesday had given it an edge for fourth place in league, but now being tied was far from the minds of Mustangs players and Cawley.

For instance, Mullen fell behind 18-1. It took the Mustangs nearly 4 minutes to score their first point, a free throw by Grace Oswald. Mullen missed its first seven field-goal attempts and didn’t get a basket until 5 seconds remained in the first quarter. By that time, the Mustangs 13 turnovers and Cawley had used 11 players.

It didn’t get much better heading into halftime, when the Mustangs jumped to 21 turnovers, yet somehow trailed only by 22-10.

“I mean, I benched (the starters),” Cawley said, “and then they came back after the bench (players) did a nice job. We battled in the third quarter, then (the Cougars) got a couple of baskets in the fourth and we quit.”

Indeed, behind freshman Megan Pohs and junior Illiana Perez, Mullen actually took the lead twice in the third, although, as Cawley said, it deflated at the outset of the fourth and never really got that close again.

Repeatedly, the Mustangs got outrebounded inside, particularly on the offensive side; never cut off Cherokee Trail drivers to the basket; and, as Cawley suggested, played “ole’” defense.

The Mustangs had no answer for Cherokee Trail’s Destinee Paulk, who led all scorers with 17 points before fouling out of the game.

“Destinee did a great job, we couldn’t handle her,” Cawley said.

 Perez (11 points) and Abby Webster (10) led Mullen.

“Good teams are going to make runs and we didn’t handle it,” Cawley said. “It’s part of growing up.”

Next up for Mullen is a Wednesday date in league against Overland, in Aurora.

 

CHEROKEE TRAIL 56, MULLEN 46

Cherokee Trail 18 4 13 21 – 56

Mullen 3 7 25 11 – 46

Cherokee Trail – Collins 4 1-5 9, Jimenez 3 1-2 9, Paulk 7 3-5 17, McLelland 1 0-0 2, Fason 3 3-5 9, Villegas 0 6-7 6, Chipman 0 4-4 4, Faust 0 0-0 0, Rodriguez 0 0-0 0, Singleton 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 18-25 56.

Mullen – Pohs 2 4-4 8, Martinez 2 0-0 6, Dominguez 2 0-1 2, Perez 4 2-2 11, Robles 2 0-0 4, Elges 1 0-0 2, Oswald 0 1-3 1, Webster 3 2-4 10, Hart 1 0-0 2, Hawkins 0 0-0 0, Medina 0 0-0 0, Drozda 0 0-0 0, Loukopolous 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 10-14 46.

3-pt. goals – Jimenez 2; Martinez 2, Perez, Webster. Fouled out – Paulk. Technical – Collins.

Girls wax Smoky Hill, occupy 4th in the Centennial

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

AURORA – It was one of those games, all in favor of Mullen, and the Mustangs used it to their advantage in multiple ways.

Ultimately, it finished Mullen 72, Smoky Hill 25, on Wednesday night in the Centennial League and it should have been that way as Mullen improved to 8-12 overall, 5-6 in league, and the host Buffaloes dropped their 18th consecutive game to land at 1-19, 0-11.

But a younger Mullen squad gained confidence, experimented with a few aspects of its game and continued to find ways to improve. Head coach Frank Cawley was pleased beyond the final score.

“Well, it was really good,” he said. “With the officials situation (the shortage has made the league play beyond its regular Wednesday-Friday rotation), we play (Thursday) night and we got to rest some starters.”

Plus, he said, the Mustangs “ran the offense and the thing where we really improved was we were able to play man-to-man defense. We hadn’t been able to play it because we’re so small. But we played it for the first time this year.”

And it worked. It allowed the Mustangs to get out and run.

“We’ve really been emphasizing transition,” Cawley said.

Freshman Alexa Dominguez, who canned five consecutive shots in the first quarter for 10 of her 12 points, concurred and agreed that the Mustangs flourish when their defense helps to spark the offense.

“It was good, my teammates got me really good looks,” Dominguez said. And “playing man-to-man was really great and a lot more fun. I think we do a lot better when we’re in it.”

Mullen forced Smoky Hill into more than two dozen turnovers. They either led to transition situations or increased their possessions.

Junior Illiana Perez topped the team with 14 points. In all, seven Mustangs scored at least six points among the 11 who made a basket or free throw.

Cawley called Dominguez “a tough competitor and our leading rebounder,” and acknowledged he understands what Smoky Hill coach Rick Harris is dealing with – rebuilding a program always seems to come with an array of difficulties and the Buffs are going through all of them, notably not much experience and not enough skill.

“He’s a great guy and he’ll get through it,” Cawley said.

The quick turn-around for Mullen involves a Thursday (7 p.m.) home against Cherokee Trail at Hutchison Fieldhouse. The Mustangs moved into fourth place in the eight-team group after the Cougars fell to Overland on Wednesday.

        

MULLEN 72, SMOKY HILL 25

Mullen 23 18 21 10 – 72

Smoky Hill 5 9 4 7 – 25

Mullen – Pohs 3 0-0 8, Martinez 2 2-2 6, Dominguez 6 0-0 12, Perez 7 0-2 14, Robles 1 0-0 2, Oswald 4 0-1 8, Elges 1 0-0 2, Hawkins 2 0-0 4, Webster3 1-2 8 , Hart 1 0-0 2, Drozda 3 0-1 6. Totals 33 3-8 72.

Smoky Hill – Grambusch 0 0-1 0, A. Givens 6 4-7 16, Gibson 0 2-2 2, Ekiko 2 2-2 6, Richardson 0 1-2 1, Hernandez 0 0-1 0, Moore 0 0-0 0, Tuom 0 0-0 0, Cupp 0 0-1 0. Totals 8 9-16 25.

3-pt. goals – Pohs 2, Webster.

Mustangs routed, but response heard loud and clear

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

GREENWOOD VILLAGE – They were coming off arguably their worst loss of the season and Friday night produced a 27-point loss.

So why was Mullen Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley pleased afterward?

The Mustangs’ 77-50 whipping to Cherry Creek at Kirby Lyle Gymnasium told the veteran coach something very important about his players.

“I’m very proud of them,” Cawley said. “I’m really, really, really proud of them. We had probably our best practice of the year last night and there’s no quit in them.”

Mullen dropped to 7-12 overall, 4-6 in league. Cherry Creek is 13-4, 8-1, and beat the Mustangs 77-46 in the first round.

But after the Mustangs lost on Wednesday to Eaglecrest by 39-35, Cawley was more worried about the ensuing games as opposed to one bad effort.

“After the Eaglecrest game when we don’t play well the other night, I was worried,” the coach said. “But we came back.”

The Mustangs, who only have two seniors, were overmatched against the savvy, much-taller Bruins, who trail defending league and Class 5A state champion Grandview by a game and rode their higher-end players, Sydney Mech (headed to Denver’s Pioneers), Jaela Richardson (Metro State)and Jana Van Gytenbeek (a sophomore pledged to Stanford). But Mullen had some moments playing with the Bruins and if a few more of their perimeter attempts would have fallen, they actually could have made them sweat a bit.

However, they didn’t and Cherry Creek, which also enjoyed regular ball movement, set and owned the pace, and the Mustangs had to show Cawley they cared while they were getting dominated.

And they did.

Ten Mustangs scored, headed by Illiana Perez’s 12 points, 10 by Alexa Dominguez and eight from Elaina Martinez.

“They’re pretty good, pretty skilled and pretty big,” Cawley said of the Bruins. “But I’m just really proud of our players. I really found out something about them.”

Three of the Mustangs’ final four games of the regular season will be at home, beginning on Wednesday with Smoky Hill, 7 p.m., at Hutchison Fieldhouse.

 

CHERRY CREEK 77, MULLEN 50

Mullen 13 15 9 13 – 50

Cherry Creek 23 22 17 15 – 77

Mullen – Pohs 1 0-0 2, Martinez 3 0-2 8, Dominguez 5 0-0 10, Perez 5 1-3 12, Robles 2 0-0 5, Elges 2 0-0 4, Oswald 1 2-4 4, Medina 0 0-0 0, Webster 0 2-2 2, Loukopolous 0 2-2 2, Hawkins 0 1-2 1,  Clarke 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 8-14 50.

Cherry Creek – E. Wrede 7 0-0 17, Van Gytenbeek 6 0-0 17, Sporaco 3 2-4 8, Mech 3 2-2 8, Richardson 7 0-0 14, Kyle 3 0-0 6, Fein-Ashley 1 0-0 2, A. Wrede 1 0-0 3, Christianson 0 0-0 0, Becker 1 0-0 2. Totals 32 4-6 77.

3-pt. goals – Martinez 2, Perez, Robles; Van Gytenbeek 5, E. Wrede 3, A. Wrede.

Girls stung, suffer 3rd consecutive league loss

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

In a word, it was ugly. And Mullen coach Frank Cawley didn’t – and couldn’t – argue.

“Yes, it was,” he said on Wednesday night after Eaglecrest used a late run to get past the Mustangs 39-35 in the Centennial League.

The home loss at Hutchison Fieldhouse dropped the Mustangs to 7-11 overall, 4-5 in league, and may have done irreparable damage to their Class 4A postseason hopes. It was their third consecutive league setback.

“We need to work on execution,” Cawley said. “We run stuff, we’ve got stuff and we practice it … and then in the game we don’t do it. I’ve got to figure out how to get the chemistry going.”

The Mustangs actually led for most of the game. They also had ample opportunities to put it away. And it was 35-all with 2 minutes, 9 seconds to play. However, Mullen was outscored 14-6 over the final 8 minutes, had a series of costly turnovers in the final moments and couldn’t answer the Raptors (7-11, 3-6).

Mullen players left the court certainly feeling that they had let one get away.

“There was no question,” Cawley said. “The thing that probably hurts the most is not the loss, but I’m upset about how we handled their run.”

They didn’t. For the game, Mullen shot an icy 14-of-49 (29 percent) and was guilty of 22 turnovers. And the Mustangs not only failed to get to the free-throw line, but when they did they didn’t make enough. They were only 2-of-6.

Not to offer an excuse, Cawley said, “but we’re young.”

Megan Pohs topped Mullen with 11 points. Illiana Perez added nine.

Next up is a Friday (7 p.m.) league matchup at Cherry Creek in Greenwood Village.

 

EAGLECREST 39, MULLEN 35

Eaglecrest 10 9 6 14 – 39

Mullen 13 7 9 6 – 35

Eaglecrest – Turner 5 0-0 10, Thornton 2 0-2 4, Sandoval-Jimenez 3 4-4 10, Sewell 2 1-2 6, Dixon 2 1-2 5, Stoner 1 0-0 2, Myles 0 0-0 0, Unrein 0 0-0 0, Williams 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 6-10 39.

Mullen – Pohs 4 0-3 11, Martinez 2 0-0 6, Dominguez 0 0-0 0, Perez 4 1-2 9, Robles 2 0-0 4, Elges 2 1-2 5, Medina 0 0-0 0, Loukopolous 0 0-0 0, Hawkisn 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 2-6 35.

3-pt. goals – Sewell; Pohs 3, Martinez 2.

Girls hoopers climb to 4-2 in the Centennial

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

They nearly scored 100 points, which is no small feat for a girls team.

So, yes, Mullen’s Mustangs are playing well. Their 98-57 home decision of Overland on Friday night at Hutchison Fieldhouse also lifted their overall record to 7-8 and 4-2 in the Centennial League. Mullen had started the season 0-5 and was 1-6. Overland, under first-year head coach Robert Dennis, dropped to 4-9, 2-4.

Mullen rolled to a 29-point first quarter, weathered a second-quarter run by the Trailblazers that got them within 32-23, then ran off again and was never seriously challenged the rest of the way.

All 12 Mustangs scored and there were five in double figures. Megan Pohs led the way with 23 points and she had plenty of help. Illiana Perez had 15, Elaina Martinez and Laura Eidenmueller scored 13, and Alexa Dominguez added 11.

Mullen’s next meeting will be demanding – at defending Class 5A state champion Grandview in Aurora on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

 

MULLEN 98, OVERLAND 57

Overland 12 20 18 7 = 57

Mullen 29 25 25 19 -- 98

Overland - Thompson 8 1-4 15, Mahmoud 2 0-1 4, Felix 3 4-6 10, Charles 6 0-0 13, Gelinas 2 3-4 7, Jackson 0 1-2 1, Hornberger 1 0-1 2, McKay 0 2-3 2, Coleman 1 1-2 2, Totals 23 12-23 55.

Mullen - Pohs 9 1-2 23, Martinez 5 1-2 13, Dominguez 5 1-2 11, Perez 7 0-0 15, Elges 2 0-1 4, Oswald 2 1-4 5, Eidenmueller 5 0-0 13, Loukapoulos 3 0-0 6, Medina 2 0-0 4, Webster 1 0-0 2, Robles 1 0-0 2. Totals 42 4-11 98.

3-pt. goals - Charles 1; Pohs 4, Eidenmueller 3, Martinez 2, Perez 1.

Mustangs hang on to get past Smoky Hill girls

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It had its ugly moments. They had large leads cut down twice, a lot of it by their own doing. They were playing a one-win team that was hungry and was probably overlooked.

No matter.

Mullen’s Mustangs will gladly take their 64-53 victory over Smoky Hill on Friday night at a crowded Hutchison Fieldhouse. It improved the Mustangs’ record to 5-8 overall and 2-2 in the Centennial League. In fact, they’re quite happy to have it.

“We’ll take it,” Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley said.

So will freshman guard Megan Pohs: “It’s another win in this league for us.”

Twice, Mullen, which was coming off a 77-46 pasting at home by Cherry Creek, had early leads, only to have the no-quit and scrappy (Buffaloes 1-12, 0-4) rally back. Mullen led 10-2 early and enjoyed a 15-4 run in the second quarter for separation before the Buffaloes kept clawing back.

Ultimately, Pohs was 6-of-6 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and Alexa Dominguez scored 10 of her 14 points after halftime to help seal it.

Cawley said senior Melicia Robles, a key leader with actual experience and a stabilizing presence, didn’t play after suffering a recent injury and he frequently had five freshmen on the floor. However, he said his team can’t afford to take anyone lightly, although the way it hung in there against a very hungry foe was uplifting.

“We’re getting better, we keep getting better and I think we entered this game a little bit over-confident,” he said. “It’s a good lesson learned that we have to play every night in this league.”

As for something that he said “has bugged me” all season, the Mustangs once again hit shots early, then went kind of cold.

“We’re creating them,” he said, “and we’re getting good looks … we just have to win enough games to get into the (Class 4A) playoffs.”

Pohs said “we kind of ran out of gas. I don’t think we expected (the Buffs) to come out as hard as they did. But we made enough plays to win.”

The scoring was somewhat spread for Mullen. Pohs had a game-high 24 points. In addition to Dominguez, Elaina Martinez added 13 and Illiana Perez added seven.

The Mustangs will be idle until Wednesday, when they will be on the road at Cherokee Trail (3-8, 1-2) in Aurora for another Centennial matchup.

 

MULLEN 64, SMOKY HILL 53

Smoky Hill 10 15 16 12 – 53

Mullen 17 1716 14 — 64

Smoky Hill – Givens 8 1-4 20, Gibson 1 4-6 6, Ekiko 4 4-4 12, Lindsey 4 1-3 9, Houcks 0 0-0 0, Grambusch 1 0-0 3, Hernandez 1 1-3 3, Schlagel 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 11-20 53.

Mullen – Pohs 7 6-6 24, Martinez 5 1-4 13, Dominguez 7 0-0 14, Robles 3 1-3 9, Elges 1 0-0 2, Medina 0 0-0 0, Hawkins 0 1-2 1, Oswald 0 0-0 0, Eidenmueller 0 0-0 0, Loukopolous 0 0-0 0, Webster 0 3-4 3. Totals 23 12-19 64.

3-pt. goals – Givens 3, Grambusch; Pohs 4, Martinez 2. Fouled out – Elges.

 

Mustangs girls look sharp, romp over Eaglecrest

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

CENTENNIAL -- Don’t look now, but Mullen’s girls basketball is growing up like head coach Frank Cawley promised it would.

On Saturday evening, the Mustangs ran to a 53-30 victory over host Eaglecrest in the Centennial League. They won their fourth game in six outings after an 0-5 start. Now 1-1 in league, they appear to be different players in terms of experience, handing pressure, defending and creating offense, most of it fueld by confidence.

“At the beginning,” freshman guard Megan Pohs said, “we were really inexperienced. But our freshman and seniors are coming together, they’re helping us and we’re just playing together.”

With three ninth-grade starters and only two seniors who are on the roster, Mullen is evolving like Cawley hoped it would.

“We’re getting better,” he said. “They have started to figure out their roles and it has been fun. And there’s going to be more fun.”

The Mustangs, who opened league play on Thursday with a 66-58 setback at Arapahoe in which Cawley said “we kind of ran out of gas,” trailed Eaglecrest 2-0, then simply took over play at both ends.

Pohs, who tied with junior Iliana Perez for team-high scoring honors with 15 points, scored eight in the first quarter as the Mustangs ran to an 18-9 lead over the Raptors, now also 4-7, but 0-2 in league. A 19-4 run in the third quarter sealed victory and contributions seemed to come from all who took the floor, including Alexa Dominguez (10 points), Elaina Martinez, Melicia Robles, Jordyn Medina, Lauren Eidenmueller.

The Mustangs also had success defending and rebounding, and, as Pohs added, “we’re doing it with transition. We’re getting better at it.”

Next for Mullen is a home game on Wednesday against Cherry Creek, which is 6-3 overall, including two blowout league victories, most recently 70-34 over Overland.

There is a lot of basketball in front of the Mustangs and Cawley said he’s confident that they are digesting it, learning it and asking for more.

“We’re getting better and there’s so much more for us to get better,” he said. “I like our ability to be resilient and improve.”

 

MULLEN 53, EAGLECREST 30

Mullen 18 9 19 7 -- 53  

Eaglecrest 9 9 4 8 – 30

Mullen – Pohs 6 0-0 15, Martinez 1 0-1 3, Dominguez 5 0-0 10, Perez 6 3-6 15, Robles 2 0-0 4, Elges 0 0-0 0, Medina 1 0-0 2, Oswald 0 0-2 0, Eidenmueller 2 0-0 4, Oates-Stamm 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 3-9 53.

Eaglecrest – Turner 0 0-0 0, Stoner 3 0-3 7, Unrein 2 0-0 4, Blethen 2 0-6 4, Dixon 1 1-7 3, Thornton 2 0-0 4, Myles 2 0-0 5, Sandoval-Jimenez 1 1-1 3, Malsom 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 2-17 30.

3-pt. goals – Pohs 3, Martinez; Myles, Stoner.

Mustangs halt Heritage, head into league at 3-6

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It has been less than a month, but younger, inexperienced Mullen girls basketballers have grown up, matured and attained an understanding of Class 5A play.

Case in point: The Mustangs faced a hungry and winless Heritage on Thursday night, withstood a variety of moves and came out with a hard-earned 57-43 nonleague victory at Hutchison Fieldhouse. And it was complete with protecting the lead, handling Eagles runs, making big free throws and finding a way to win.

Mullen won its third game over the past four after beginning the season 0-5. Heritage, from the high-end Continental League, is an unusual 0-9.  

“Yes, we have,” Mustangs freshman guard Megan Pohs said when asked if she thought her team has come a long way since a disappointing start to 2017-18.

And after Heritage cut the Mullen lead that reached 12 points and was whittled to two three times, Pohs said “we decided to slow down the pace because we were really rushing it. We slowed it down and looked at our options.”

They included going 8-for-8 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, when she scored 10 of her 14 points. Elaina Martinez, another freshman, also scored 14 points, notably a big 3-pointer down the stretch. And junior Illiana Perez led all scorers with 18 points, nine in the second quarter as Mullen built a 26-14 lead.

“Illiana played very well and got us a lot of offense,” head coach Frank Cawley said.

It was needed – the Mustangs made only 2-of-10 free throws in the first half.

“We got to the line,” Cawley said. “We played Palmer (on Tuesday) and (the Terrors) shot 24 free throws and we shot seven. And the assumption I had that we were going to make them (Thursday).”

Overall, Cawley said, “we struggle and it’s just a sign of our maturity. But we’re getting better. We struggled against (the Heritage) zone a bit, but figured it out.”  

Cawley, too, refused to panic when Heritage got close, passing on calling timeout and instead allowing the Mustangs opportunity to find a way to win – "and they did,” he said.

“Yeah,” Pohs said, “we definitely have our confidence. We have confidence that we can and have ever since our first win.”

Mullen enters the holiday break having completed its nonleague schedule. Next up: 14 games in the Centennial League, home-and-away against Arapahoe, Cherry Creek, Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland and Smoky Hill. First, and after three allowed practices next week, is a 7 p.m. tip-off in Centennial at Arapahoe on Jan. 4.

Cawley simply hopes what his team accomplished in December can carry over for the rest of the season. And it has to come from several players.

“It’s going to be a cast of all us,” the coach said. “Everyone’s got to get going, to step up at a different time, there’s no question.”

 

MULLEN 57, HERITAGE 43

Heritage 8 6 20 9 – 43

Mullen 10 16 10 21 – 57

Heritage – Burke 2 1-2 6, Schmuhl 4 2-3 10, Sears 2 3-6 7, Burrow 2 3-4 7, Coyne 1 1-2 3, Wekesser 0 0-0 0, Jost 3 0-0 8, Watkins 0 0-0 0, Stephens 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 10-17 43.

Mullen – Pohs 3 8-10 14, Martinez 4 3-6 14, A. Dominguez 1 0-3 2, Perez 7 2-6 18, Elges 0 0-0 0, Robles 2 0-0 4, Medina 0 0-0 0, Loukopoulos 0 0-0 0, Oswald 0 0-0 0, Eidenmueller 2 1-2 5, Hawkins 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 14-29 57 .

3-pt.goals – Jost 2, Burke; Martinez 3, Perez 2.

 

Mustangs girls nab 2nd victory, crush Terrors

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It finally happened. Mullen girls hit a bunch of shots from the perimeter and enjoyed a run-away victory.

The Mustangs blew out host Palmer 73-48 in downtown Colorado Springs on Tuesday night, upping their mark in Class 5A nonleague play to 2-6. The Terrors, under longtime coach Dave Shackelford, are 3-7.

Freshman Elaina Martinez had a breakout game. She led all scorers with a season-high 23 points and made five of Mullen’s seven 3-pointers. Fellow freshman Megan Pohs, who also was due, made the team’s other two 3-pointers and had 14 points.

This one was never in doubt. The Mustangs led 19-8 after a quarter and 42-20 at halftime.

Eleven Mustangs scored and it didn’t matter that they attempted only seven free throws – compared to 24 for the Terrors – and made four.

Mullen will have one more outing before the holiday break, on Thursday at home at Hutchison Fieldhouse, 7 p.m., against Littleton’s Heritage.

The Mustangs will open Centennial League play next month, on Jan. 4 at home against Arapahoe.

Defending 4A champ easily handles Mustangs

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Running into the defending state champion usually isn’t easy.

And it certainly wasn’t for Mullen the past Friday night.

The Mustangs travelled to Evergreen, the 2017 Class 4A girls basketball winner, and were routed. The Cougars rolled to a 67-34 no-doubter in nonleague.

Mullen, coming off its first victory, dipped to 1-6. Evergreen is 6-1.

Evergreen took command early and often, and held it. The Cougars led 20-6 at halftime, 30-20 at halftime. A 21-4 start to the second half sealed it.

The Cougars’ Claudia Dillon was simply too much. She’s listed at 6-foot-2, but plays like she’s much taller and longer. The Mustangs had success against the junior in volleyball the past month – she’s committed to Missouri – when they downed Evergreen in regionals while advancing to state, but she rolled to 32 points on 15-of-22 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots.

No Mustang was able to attain double-figure scoring. Senior Lauren Eidenmueller was tops with nine points.

In addition, Mullen didn’t get to the free-throw line much, shooting just 1-of-3.

The Mustangs will have two games this week before the holiday break. On Tuesday, they will be in Colorado Springs to take on Palmer, 5:30 p.m., then will be at Hutchison Fieldhouse on Thursday, 5:30 p.m., to host Littleton’s Heritage. Both are in nonleague.

Mustangs girls on the board, down Green Mountain

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

LAKEWOOD – Whew!

Call it relief. As if a giant weight has been lifted off their narrow shoulders. And no need to dial an analyst or psychiatrist.

They knew they could do it all along … it’s just that they had to get that first one.

And they did on Wednesday night as Mullen’s Mustangs won their first girls basketball game of the season, 48-33 on the road at Green Mountain in Class 4A nonleague. They had dropped their first five games and Green Mountain now is 1-6, but victory is an individual taste, a delicacy savored, notably by those who crave it.

And believe it, the Mustangs craved it.

“It’s a great relief, it’s a great relief,” Mullen head coach Frank Cawley said. “They’ve earned it, worked hard and to finally get a win is huge. They’ve come a long way.”

Said freshman Elaina Martinez, who topped the team with 12 points: “Yeah, for sure, it’s honestly one of the best feelings ever after coming off five losses. It was perfect.”

Maybe not perfect, but certainly gratifying – the Mustangs scored the game’s first basket, quickly fell behind 6-2, then reeled off 17 consecutive points to take command.

Indeed, the Rams made a couple of runs. particularly in the second quarter, but Mullen weathered any Rams moves to cut into the deficit and came up with a series of answers. The first came after halftime as Jefferson County’s Green Mountain climbed within 25-19.

“We let them back in it in the second quarter, but we gave (our team) a pretty good tongue-lashing at halftime and we came out with a little bit more intensity, which I was impressed with,” Cawley said.

Illiana Perez came off the bench and made two 3-pointers, Martinez had two baskets and Melicia Robles added another as Mullen retook command. It led 39-25 entering the fourth quarter, implemented a `delay game and kept the Rams chasing.

“We were sick of losing and started working as a team as five and not one anymore,” Martinez said. “There definitely wasn’t any doubt. We all knew we could win hopefully, we can get on with it.”

In addition to Martinez, Perez and Robles, Lauren Eidenmueller, Makenna Elges and Alexa Dominguez helped keep the Mustangs rolling.

“Now,” Cawley said, “they know they can get one.”

Mullen resumes action on Friday night and it will be challenging – the Mustangs will be at defending 4A state champion Evergreen, tip-off at 7 p.m.

 

MULLEN 48, GREEN MOUNTAIN 33

Mullen 19 6 14 9 – 48

Green Mountain 6 13 6 8 – 33

Mullen – Pohs 1 1-2 3, Martinez 3 5-6 12, A. Dominguez 1 2-4 4, Robles 3 0-0 7, Eidenmueller 3 0-0 6, Elges 2 0-0 4, Perez 4 0-1 10, Loukopoulus 0 0-0 0, Medina 0 0-0 0, Hawkins 1 0-0 2, Oates-Stamm 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-13 48.

Green Mountain – Hapke 3 0-0 9, Ransom 0 0-0 0, Antrillo 3 0-0 9, Schell 0 1-2 1, Hank 2 5-8 9, Shoemaker 0 0-0 0, Klocek 0 0-2 0, Phillips 0 0-0 0, West 0 0-0 0, Pietro 2 1-3 5. Totals 10 7-15 33.

3-pt. goals – Martinez, Perez, Robles; Antrillo 3, Hapke 3.  

Mustangs drop 5th straight, fall to Holy Family

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

BROOMFIELD – For a half it looked good. Very good. Mullen was playing its best basketball of the early season on the road against an always good Holy Family.

Was the Mustangs’ first victory within reach?

Ultimately, no.

The Tigers took immediate control in the third quarter and rolled to a 59-42 Class 4A nonleague victory, sending Mullen to its fifth consecutive loss. The Mustangs had a new look in starting four freshmen, but were handled late.

Holy Family, which beat defending 4A state champion Evergreen 58-54 on Thursday, overcame its early woes of turnover trouble and missed shots, and rode a 29-point performance by senior Izzy Hren.

“The whole first half, I was impressed,” Mullen head coach Frank Cawley said.

And, sure, he added, he expected a second-half move by the Tigers, but perhaps not as quickly or as thorough. “We talked about a run at halftime and No. 20 (Hren) was amazing,” he said.

As for changing his starting lineup, Cawley said, a change was in order “and we started four freshmen. We’re trying to get quicker. We need to get faster. We can’t play a slow-down-type of game. We can’t do it.”

As it was, both teams experienced early trouble handling the ball and Holy Family, now 3-1 and the program that knocked the Mustangs out of the past season’s playoffs, earned a four-point lead.

However, the Mustangs, suddenly offered their best play of the season over the next 8 minutes. They shot it well (7-of-10), defended and rebounded against taller opponents. At half, they led 27-21 off an 18-8 binge and appeared in control. Megan Pohs, Elaina Martinez, Melicia Robles and Makenna Elges, one of the two other freshmen promoted to starter, sparked the offense.  

And then the bottom fell out of the Mustangs.

“We were told they would go on a run, but we didn’t know it would be that big of a run, I guess,” Pohs said. “It was like we got punched in the face. I thought we got a little over-happy and kind of lost it from there.”

Mullen made only three of its next 16 shots in the second half in hitting the wall – Holy Family outscored the Mustangs 38-15 after half.

Holy Family coach Ron Rossi said he wasn’t pleased with his team’s first-half effort and felt it necessary to make that clear. He sensed the Mustangs were hungry and decided to grab his players’ attention.

“It was dull and embarrassing, just because we did not play to our level; we played to our opponents’ level,” he said. “Mullen came out and played really well, shot the ball well and found holes in our zone. When you play someone like Evergreen and beat the No. 1 team, I think we did not respect Mullen well enough.”

Pohs said she and her teammates “just brought the intensity. We had a feeling we could win.”

Cawley remains unfazed. “We’ll get there,” he said.

Elges, who was joined in the new starting lineup by Alexa Dominguez, led Mullen with 11 points, all in the first half. It was indicative. The Mustangs managed a series of good looks, but shot 6-of-26 over the final two quarters.

Next up: At Green Mountain, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

HOLY FAMILY 59, MULLEN 42

Mullen 9 18 5 10 -- 42

Holy Family 13 8 14 24 – 59

Mullen – Pohs 2 0-0 5, Martinez 3 0-0 8, A. Dominguez 2 0-0 4, Robles 3 0-0 6, Elges 5 0-0 11, Eidenmueller 0 0-0 0, Perez 0 2-2 2, Loukopoulos 1 2-2 4, Oswald 0 0-0 0, B. Dominguez 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 4-4 42.

Holy Family – McKenzie 4 0-0 9, Hren 12 1-1 29, Giltner 0 0-0 0, Am. Ward 0 0-0 0, Pittenger 2 0-0 4, Gudino 1 0-0 2, Thomas 3 2-2 10, Aanerud 2 1-1 5, Gardon 0 0-0 0, As. Ward 0 0-0 0, Sanders 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 4-4 59.

3-pt. goals – Martinez 2, Elges, Pohs; Hren 4, Thomas 2, McKenzie.

 

Young Mustangs rolled by Regis Jesuit 75-31

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The learning experience continues for Mullen.

As for Tuesday night’s latest lesson? Parochial-rival Regis Jesuit is very good, very experienced, very tall  and not unlike most of the Mustangs’ competition to date.

And they knew it.

The Class 5A-contending Raiders ran over, around and through Mullen 75-31 in nonleague at Hutchison Fieldhouse for a fourth consecutive loss to open the season. The Mustangs also came under the new mercy rule – once a lead in the fourth quarter reaches 35 points, it’s a running clock.

However, the Mustangs, who dropped three games in the Castle View-ThunderRidge Tip-Off Tournament last week, didn’t run away. No, head coach Frank Cawley said, his girls hung in there and dealt with it.

“Absolutely,” he said. “(The Raiders) are very good and bigger and more physical than we are. But I was impressed with how we played in the first quarter and into the second quarter. We played tough and we couldn’t get a foul inside.”

Conversely, Regis Jesuit, now 3-2 after a 2-2 road trip in San Diego, basically did whatever it wanted, notably inside, enjoying a definitive height advantage headed by touted junior Francesca Belibi. While she was fairly quiet, her team-high 15 points led the Raiders, who also clamped down on the Mustangs with a full-court press, assorted traps and pressure out front.

Elaina Martinez, one of four freshmen on the Mullen roster and one of 10 underclassmen, knew what was going on and said she tried to make the best of it.

“It was tough,” she said, “but at least we had some positive energy throughout the game. And I think that really helped us.”

Martinez made four 3-pointers for 12 points, or nearly half of her team’s total, to top the Mustangs, who were instructed by Cawley to fire away from the perimeter. It seemed to be the practical approach.

“The game plan was to get shots up,” he said. “We don’t have the post presence to take it inside against a team like that. (The Raiders) just keep running in another big, another big … we don’t have that.”

But what they do have are wide-eyed players willing to learn and ravenously hungry for a victory. Martinez said she and her teammates, who had a surge early in the second quarter to get back within 10 points before the Raiders retook control, ”are learning and I think it will be good for our junior and senior years, for sure. I think it will be good. We understand how it is.”

The Mustangs will go again on Saturday, a meeting with regular 4A power Holy Family in Broomfield. It was originally scheduled for noon, then switched to 1 p.m., then moved again to 4 p.m. because of SAT testing.

“The energy was good and the intensity was good, even when we had the running clock,” Cawley said. “We kept playing and they’re getting better. I told them just now, ‘We are better than our first game.’”

 

REGIS JESUIT 75, MULLEN 31

Regis Jesuit 18 25 16 16 – 75

Mullen 3 9 7 12 – 31

Regis Jesuit – Belibi 7 1-3 15, Vansickle 3 2-2 9, S. Weigand 3 1-1 7, Moore 5 2-3 13, Cahill 1 1-2 3, Gaines 3 2-2 9, Ayers 2 2-2 6, Jones 6 0-1 13, G. Weigand 0 0-0 0. Totals 30 10-15 75.

Mullen – Pohs 1 1-2 4, Martinez 4 0-0 12, Perez 1 0-0 3, Robles 1 1-2 3, Eidenmueller 2 0-0 6, Oswald 0 1-2 1, Elges 1 0-0 2, Loukopoulos 0 0-0 0, Hawkins 0 0-2 0, B. Dominguez 0 0-0 0, A. Dominguez 0 0-0 0, Medina 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 3-8 31.

3-pt. goals – Gaines, Jones, Moore, S. Weigand, Vansickle; Martinez 4, Eidenmueller 2, Perez, Pohs.

 

Grand Junction drops Mustangs girls to 0-2

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

CASTLE ROCK – That’s two games and two losses.

But Mullen refuses to get down. A 41-30 setback on Friday night to Grand Junction in the second round of the Castle View-ThunderRidge Tip-Off Tournament obviously tempted the Mustangs’ feelings, although they won’t take the bait.

“We’re learning, we just need to make sure we don’t get depressed,” Mustangs head coach Frank Cawley said. “These are brand-new kids together.”

The Mustangs’ inexperience is showing and they expected it to – Grand Junction (1-1) took advantage, grabbed control in the second half and outlasted them.

The Tigers cruised to a 9-0 lead, weathered a Mullen move and used their height and experience to limit the Mustangs to single-digit scoring in each of the game’s final three corners. Mackenzie Younker and Faith Buckley, a couple of 6-footers, not coincidently led the Tigers in scoring with 11 points each.

“They were big and extremely well-coached,” Cawley said of the Tigers. “They knew where our weaknesses were and took advantage of them.”

Said Mustangs junior Illiana Perez: “I think it was just us being pretty young. That team has played a lot together and us being pretty young it was very difficult for us. And our big person (senior Noelle Van Horn) is out with a back injury.”

The shorter Mustangs also struggled under the boards. In addition, other than junior Demitra Loukopoulos’ team-high 12 points, no one else reached double figures and shooting was an issue. Mullen finished 11-of-52 from the floor.

And they couldn’t answer when Grand Junction regained the lead and build on it.

“We missed our first couple of shots and the jitters started,” Cawley said. “Teams are going to make runs and we made one, then they made one … and we won’t be 0-2 down the road. We’ll get there. I’m confident about it.”

Perez agreed.

“We take a lot of time (shooting) in practice, but you have those days where you’re on or off,” she said. “We’re not at all discouraged. We just move on to the next game head first.”

The Mustangs will complete the tournament on Saturday morning against ThunderRidge.

 

GRAND JUNCTION 41, MULLEN 30

Mullen 10 5 6 9 – 30

Grand Junction 10 7 11 13 – 41

Mullen – Martinez 1 0-0 3, Perez 0 1-2 1, Pohs 2 0-0 5, Eidenmueller 3 0-0 7, Robles 0 0-0 0, Loukopoulus 4 0-0 12, Oswald 1 1-2 3, B. Dominguez 0 0-0 0, Hawkins 0 0-0 0, Elges 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 2-4 30.

Grand Junction – Younker 4 3-4 11, Olkowski 2 0-0 5, Deters 0 2-4 2, Paradiso 2 0-0 5, Rubalcaba 2 3-4 7, Laffler 0 0-0 0, Buckley 2 7-9 11, Hutto 0 0-0 0, Leatherman 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 15-21 41.

3-pt. goals – Loukopoulus 3, Eidenmueller, Martinez, Perez; Olkowski, Paradiso.

 

 

Mullen girls drop opener 55-47 to Broomfield

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

CASTLE ROCK – It was a loss, but it told a story. And not a bad one.

“The little kids just got a little scared and they have to grow up,” Mullen head girls basketball coach Frank Cawley said.

On Thursday night, the Mustangs’ season debut resulted in a 55-47 setback to Broomfield in the opening round of the Castle View-ThunderRidge Tip-Off Tournament. But Cawley liked a lot of what he saw from a lot of inexperinced players.

“They played hard, really hard, and I’m really proud of them,” he said.

And for a team that lacks height, Cawley said, “we held our own on the boards.”

Broomfield, a longtime state power and again expected to challenge in Class 5A, gradually took control in the third quarter with a 15-4 scoring advantage. Behind Steph Peterson, a very game junior and a guard Cawley termed “a very good player,” the Eagles’ binge was added by the Mustangs’ sudden inability to connect from the perimeter. They went cold.

After hitting their first two shots and 6-of-9 in the first quarter, 4A Mullen bolted to a 14-7 lead. It also owned a 29-26 lead at half in finishing 12-of-24 through 16 minutes.

However, Mullen made only 6-of-29 field-goal attempts down the stretch and even a 14-14 scoring draw over the final 8 minutes wasn’t enough, although it made for some tense Eagles’ moments.

Nine Mustangs scored, headed by Lauren Eidenmueller’s 10 points. Demitra Loukopoulus came off the bench for nine points, and Elaina Martinez and Illiana Perez each contributed six.

Some lapses when guarding on the perimeter and down low in addition to being beaten down the floor a few times also hurt the Mustangs and Cawley said “we were trying to change some defenses and all it takes is one person to not get the call … but we got a lot of good likes, got a lot of good shots and they just didn’t go in. We’ll be OK.”

The Mustangs next will play on Friday, 5:30 p.m., at Castle View against Grand Junction. The host SaberCats beat the Western Slope Tigers 53-29.

 

BROOMFIELD 55, MULLEN 47

Mullen 14 15 4 14 – 47

Broomfield 7 19 15 14 – 55

Mullen – Eidenmueller 5 0-0 10, Martinez 3 0-0 6, Perez 2 1-2 6, Pohs 2 0-0 5, Robles 1 0-0 2, Oswald 2 1-2 5, Elges 1 0-0 2, Loukopoulos 3 2-2 9, Hawkins 0 0-0 0, Medina 0 0-0 0, A. Dominguez 0 2-2 2, B. Dominguez 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 6-8 47.

Broomfield – Peterson 9 8-11 28, Keeler 3 0-0 6, Wristen 0 1-2 1, Hoffman 4 1-1 9, Pennington 3 0-2 7, Young 0 0-0 0, Belton 0 0-0 0, Putsch 1 0-0 2, Felknor 0 0-0 0, Antonopolous 0 0-0 0, Burgesser 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 10-16 55.

3-pt. goals – Martinez 2, Loukopoulus, Perez, Pohs; Keeler 2, Pennington.

Girls basketballers young, inexperienced … and interesting

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Girls basketball at Mullen in 2017-18 promises to be fresh, as in freshman.

Ninth-graders will dominate this season’s roster.

For sure, head coach Frank Cawley has some interesting upperclassmen, “but then we get into a boatload of freshman. We’ll have 10 freshmen playing up in junior varsity and varsity. It’s a very talented freshman class, but they’re freshmen.”

The Mustangs, 12-13 overall a year ago and 7-7 in the Centennial League, began and ended their season with Broomfield’s Holy Family. They opened with a home victory and finished with a road loss in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Returning are Noelle Van Horn, a talented 6-foot senior battling a serious back problem; senior Lauren Eidenmueller (5-9), who missed most of the past season with a knee injury; and junior Iliana Perez (5-7).

And after that, Cawley said, “then we get into a boatload of freshman.”

It will be challenging, he said. “and I like how talented we are. I really like our talent base. It’s probably the most-talented freshmen and sophomore group we’ve had in a long time. I‘m concerned about our experience and concerned about our rebounding. We’re not very big. And we’re really young. We will take our lumps, but our kids are mentally tough, and we could be OK. We could start anywhere from two-to-three freshmen.”

Plus, increased program numbers bod well – Cawley said he has 52 players, good enough for four teams, a situation not many other schools can realize.

The Mustangs, who also will face a considerable schedule, will open on the road on Nov. 30, in the ThunderRidge Tournament in Highlands Ranch.  Their first home game will Dec. 5 against parochial-rival Regis Jesuit on Dec. 5. And there will be a matchup against defending Class 4A state champion Evergreen, away on Dec. 15.

Mullen will open Centennial League play at home on Jan. 4 against Arapahoe.

The regular season will end on Feb. 17. The 4A state-playoff bracket will be relased on Feb. 18.

In addition to Evergreen, Valor Christian and assorted Pueblo schools. Cawley said, should be in the top of the 4A mix.

“And I like where we are,” he said.

 

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Mullen Softball Alumni to host Jan. 26 gathering
Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Mullen Softball Alumni will host a gathering on Jan. 26 from 3-5 p.m. at Old Chicago in Lakewood.

The still new coaching staff and alumni will meet for appetizers and drinks at 3550 S. Wadsworth.

There also will be free Mullen Softball Alumni T-shirts for attendees and families.

 

Sumner's 8th place tops Mustangs at Jimmy John's NCCT in Loveland
Sunday, December 16, 2018

John Sumner finished eighth at 145 pounds on Saturday, the only Mustang to place at the always strong Jimmy John’s Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament contested in Loveland.

Now 17-4, the junior topped Mullen, which scored 44 points to tie for 46th with Castle View and Overland in the 72-team field that included out-of-state teams.

Mullen will be idle through the holiday break and resume competition in a home tournament on Saturday, Jan. 12, with Alameda, Bear Creek, Evergreen, Grandview, Lotus School for Excellence, Mesa Ridge, Plate Canyon and University.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Mat matters: Mustangs grab 2nd dual win, beat Bear Creek 50-18
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

In earning its second dual-meet victory, Mullen beat Bear Creek 50-18 on Tuesday night in the Old Gym.

Five Mustangs were the better wresters head-to-head in the 14-weight meeting that also was laced with forfeits.

Taking quick pins against the Jefferson County Bears to top the local list were freshman Mark Troni (120 pounds) in 27 seconds and Aaron Gonzales (126) in a second fall in less than a minute, 56 seconds. Cullen Martinez (220) earned a third mat slap for Mullen late in the second period, winning in 3:57.

At 113, Noah Linares won by technical fall and Nick Machock may have turned in the match of the night, winning 7-6 in the final seconds on a reverse.

Four other weights resulted in forfeit victories for the Mustangs and there was a double no-entry at 106.

Another dual will precede the final tournament before the holiday break – the Mustangs will be in Aurora on Thursday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m., to meet Cherokee Trail in the Centennial League. Saturday, Dec. 15, will be the always interesting and loaded Old Chicago Northern Colorado in Loveland.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Early winter efforts bring back a buzz around campus
Monday, December 03, 2018

It was only the first week and there’s certainly no need to begin entertaining state-championship ideas.

Then again, early promise, a wave of returnees and increased interest has Mullen winter-sporters and their followers rather excited.

To wit:

--- Boys basketball is off to a 2-0 start. The Mustangs waxed two Jefferson County teams through a combination of improved and tight seniors, plus a dab of newbies. At first glance, they seem to be able to regularly offer the full gamut of an inside-outside game, easily getting into transition, defending and containing a rotation without losing much whoever is on the floor.

--- Girls basketball won a season-opening tournament, is dominated by underclassmen with a sprinkling of talented freshmen, and looks as if it’s playing without fear. Even better, the Mustangs also offer height, a glaring void in 2017-18. It’s no small point – they can now play man-to-man defense instead of sitting in a zone. Height matters.

--- Hutchison Fieldhouse was fairly crowded for the first two boys hoops games and it appears attendance will remain on the upswing, including for girls. Coaches and athletes are sincerely following – and rooting for – peers in other games and events.

--- Girls swimmers and divers have gotten a bunch of state-qualifying out of the way and showed well in an eight-team meet in which the other seven school entrants were Class 5A (the Mustangs are 4A). They were sixth at the state meet in 2018 and are staring at getting higher,

--- Wrestlers have more than two dozen Mustangs on the roster and they contain some experienced and newer talent. There are still some holes in assorted weight classes, but there’s quality to offset the lack of quantity.

--- On the ice, Mustangs hockey players now number enough to field something of a junior-varsity team and all of the underclassmen from a season ago are back to seriously challenge for a playoff spot. You should have seen their opener, in which they fell late to Columbine – the stands were packed and students lined one side of the boards.

--- And as for the winter coaches? If there is a more-excited group around Hampden Avenue and Lowell Boulevard, show us. From the head folks to the assistants, there’s bounce in their steps, purpose in their direction, and life in their statements.

Of course, it was only the first week, there are many more to handle, there’s a holiday break to deal with and nothing’s promised.

But for openers, it was the kind Mustangs winter-sporters and their followers needed.

The buzz around school is real.

---- Neil H. Devlin

 

Holy Family-Mullen, Regis Jesuit-Arapahoe highlight highlight extra hoops
Monday, November 26, 2018

It basically amounts to an extra game, although it won’t count in the standings and the statistics will be meaningless. However, opportunity to play for a cause and purpose as well as participating in extra basketball couldn’t be ignored.

Mullen will have its chances, on Jan. 19 at Hutchison Fieldhouse against Holy Family, and rival Regis Jesuit and its girls will have theirs, Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Arapahoe to provide an ealry peek at the event.

Mustangs head coach Bob Caton will be watching.

Opportunity for a 24th game, Caton said, “was brought up in the coaches clinic and you can do whatever you want with it.”

While the Regis Jesuit-Arapahoe boys won’t play, the girls will at 7 p.m. and have opted to focus on mental-health issues and proceeds from the game will go toward the cause in the wake of multiple teen suicides this school year for the Warriors in Centennial. In Mullen’s case, there will be both boys and girls games, lower-level games, feeder-school games as well as a unified game. Its focus will be on a salute to the old Parochial League.

“It doesn’t count on your record or in the RPI (qualifying) and you can’t list it (in the team schedule), and you still only get 23 legitimate (regular-season) games, but this gives you the 24th and everyone is doing it differently,” Caton said. “We’re making it (a real game), so kids get to play another game.

“While we’re honoring the old Parochial League, others are trying to make it a fundraiser … and that’s great what Arapahoe and Regis are doing for suicide prevention.”

A fee to the state organization was required for the chance to host the events and the amount depended on how many games were to be played, but Caton added that there will be regular referees and most everything that is necessary to host games, as well as bringing back a number of coaches and players from the old Catholic-school group. It’s a salute to Mullen’s beginnings in athletics against a lot of schools that no longer exist.

“Not a lot of other people are doing it,” Caton said, “but I would do 25 if they let us. Kids love to play games. I think it’s a good idea.”

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Games on! Winter competitors begin practice as it’s open season
Monday, November 12, 2018

Today, Monday, Nov. 12, is the day for winter-sporters across Colorado.

Season No. 2 on the annual high-school sports docket, winter, may officially begin practice today. Mustangs competitors in boys basketball, girls basketball, ice hockey, girls swimming and diving, and wrestling will begin preseason drills after today’s classes, and boys and girls skiing will begin soon.

Practice will run into the final week of the month before contests may begin on Nov. 26.

The Mustangs will field teams and individuals in all sports, save for skiing competitors, who may co-op with other schools.

Opening day for winter competition will be in two weeks, Nov. 26. 

The first portion of winter play will run into the third week of December. As usual, it will be interrupted by the holiday break, from Dec. 21 through Jan. 1, which will contain only limited practice.

Play will resume in the first week of 2019.

Below are general winter outlines with Mustangs class designations:

Boys basketball – Class 5A regular season runs through Feb. 16; playoffs Feb. 18 through March 9, final rounds at the Denver Coliseum.

Girls basketball – 4A regular season runs through Feb. 16, playoffs Feb. 18 through March 9, final rounds at the Denver Coliseum.

Ice hockey – One class, regular season runs through Feb. 16, playoffs Feb. 19 through March 5, championship game at the Pepsi Center.

Boys and girls skiing – One class, regular season runs through Feb. 16, state championship Feb. 21-22 at Purgatory.

Girls swimming and diving – 4A regular season runs through Feb. 2, state championship Feb. 7-8 at VMAC in Thornton.

Wrestling – 3A regular season runs through Feb. 9, regionals Feb. 15-16, state championship Feb. 21-23 at the Pepsi Center.

 

Locascio, McIntire strong at Englewood's Windjammer
Saturday, October 06, 2018

Mullen junior Will Locascio took advantage of cooler temperatures for a hotter time.

In finishing in 16 minutes, 16 seconds, Locascio took third place on Saturday at the annual Windjammer Invitational at Englewood.

He led the Mustangs to 10th place in the 25-team field. Nick Espinola (54th, 17:55); Owen McCarter (79th, 18:33); Jack Tolbert (87th, 18:43); and Aidan Schwarz (99th, 18:43) also accounted for the scoring.

In girls, Hallie McIntire turned in another strong race, ending in 20:31 and taking 15th place. She led the Mustangs to ninth place (of 17 teams) and was backed by Madison Wainscoat (41st, 21:09); Alicia Muller (56th, 21:43); Anika Rosengarten (65th, 22:00); and Morgan Atwell (75th, 22:15).

---  Neil H. Devlin

 

J.P Starkey's mini odyssey: From Harvard to Pueblo
Thursday, October 04, 2018

It nearly cost him a chance at making the state tournament for tennis, but J.P. Starkey visited the hallowed ground of Harvard the past Sunday.

The Mullen junior was part of perhaps 100 lacrosse hopefuls who flocked to Cambridge, Mass., that were getting a look-see by the Crimson staff.

It was just about a slice of Heaven for Starkey, who plays attack for the Mustangs.

“We stayed in Harvard Square across from the sports complex,” Starkey said. “It was a cool place and we got to walk on campus a bit. The sports complex is off the charts. The facilities they have there are impressive. We didn’t get to play in the stadium. We played on the rugby field. But it’s really cool.”

A member of the Colorado Fire lacrosse team, Starkey said he received an e-mail to set up his tryout that included drills and competition, but it also came with an injury. He fell and injured his left wrist at the beginning of the day.

A trip to the doctor diagnosed it as a sprain or broken growth plate and it made it interesting heading into Wednesday’s Class 4A regional play. Starkey plays No. 1 doubles with Dante Dino and the pain followed him into the opening round.

How did he handle it?

“With a brace and a bunch of tape and Advil,” Starkey said.

He said he was able to get through the first set of play and “I had to figure out how to hit with it. But Dante played extremely well and we got through it.”

Starkey and Dino wound up winning the No. 1 doubles spot to qualify for next week’s 4A tournament, including 6-1, 6-1 in the final.

Ultimately, Starkey-Dino helped Mullen to account for six of the seven berths by the Mustangs for the 4A tournament that will run from Oct. 11-13.

“Glad I’ll be there,” he said.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Tuesday wrapup: Softball goes 2-0; boys soccer and volleyball continue skids
Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Mullen won recent, back-to-back, one-run decisions in softball; boys soccer dropped a third consecutive Centennial League game; and volleyball lost another league sweep in recent Mustangs sports news.

The softball team, which had lost nine games in succession, snapped the long drought with a 5-4 victory at home against Grandview on Saturday before getting past host Smoky Hill 7-6 on Thursday. Both were in the Centennial.

Junior Marissa Sanchez earned the weekend pitching victory and was 3-for-3 at the plate with a run scored, but had lots of help and it went beyond the Mustangs being guilty of only one error. Tiffanie Brieno had a double, RBI and run scored. Avery Panozzo singled and scored as did Bella Hawkins. Margaret Bertsch tripled, scored a run, sacrificed and drove home two. And Bella Sevier singled and had two RBIs.

Sanchez went the distance and was touched for eight hits, but struck out 10 and walked only one.

At Smoky Hill, Hawkins had two doubles among three safeties to pace a 12-hit attack. Hawkins also scored a run. Brieno scored twice, had two hits and walked two times. Emma DiGiacomo doubled, singled and scored two runs. Sanchez doubled, singled and drove home two runs. Bertsch had a single and RBI. Sevier contributed two singles, a run scored and RBI.

Sanchez was touched for nine hits, three home runs among them, and the six runs, but battled through and struck out four.

The Mustangs improved to 6-14 and next will host Overland on Thursday, first pitch at 4 p.m., to wrap up league play, where they are 2-4.  They will travel to Fairview in Boulder on Saturday, 4 p.m.

In boys soccer, coach Matthew Guglielmo’s Mustangs fell 4-1 at home to Cherokee Trail to remain winless in league play.

Sophomore Patrick Keeley had the only goal for Mullen, now 6-4 overall, 0-3 league.

The Mustangs will resume play on the pitch on Thursday against powerful Arapahoe (9-0-2, 3-0) at Littleton Public Schools Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

As for volleyball, the Mustangs lost 19-25, 16-25, 10-25 at home to Grandview. It was their fifth consecutive loss and kept them winless in league at 7-7 overall, 0-5 in league.

Mullen, which also has lost its past three matches by sweeps, will be at Smoky Hill on Thursday, 6:45 p.m.

 

Volleyball drops a close one, 3-1 at Eaglecrest in Centennial League play
Friday, September 21, 2018

Mullen volleyball dropped a close on the road on Thursday night, 3-1 to host Eaglecrest in Centennial.

The Mustangs fell 19-25, 21-25, 25-23, 20-25 in Centennial League play.

In falling to 7-4 overall, 0-2 in league, Mullen stayed within range, but was unable to finish.

The Raptors climbed to 9-2, 2-0.

Next up for Mullen will be another league match, on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at home against Cherokee Trail, 6:45 p.m.

 

'Stangs dip to 4-11, fall to Creek in league opener
Thursday, September 20, 2018

The learning experience for a younger Mullen softball team continued on Thursday in a 9-1 home setback against Cherry Creek.

In their Centennial League opener, the Mustangs fell to 4-11 overall. They have dropped nine of their past 11 games and been outscored by a combined 117-60 on the season.

Cherry Creek (11-7, 2-0) banged out 10 hits against two Mullen pitchers.

Mullen’s lone run came in the third inning on a triple by Emma DiGiacomo and a ground out.

First-year Mustangs head coach Alan Colglazier said reloading the program continues to be a process and insists his group is improving.

Mullen will resume play on Saturday at Eaglecrest, which is 13-3. First pitch will be at 11 a.m.

 

 

Mullen boys tennis enjoying its emergence
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Indeed, Mullen boys tennis was spanked recently by Colorado Academy. CA won 6-1.

However, it was a gradual improvement from a year ago and Mullen appreciates the climb.

No. 1 singles player George Henry Hanzel, a sophomore on the underclassmen-dominated team, is enjoying the ride and is realistic about it. He fell 6-1, 6-2 to a very good Richter Jordaan and felt much better about his play. Jordaan was the runner-up at Class 4A No. 1 singles as a freshman and last year was third at No. 1 singles.

Jordaan also is considered a top player in the five state region, Hanzel said, “and you have to know he’s better than you, but you still give 100 percent. It’s the very point. Otherwise, there’s no point in playing the match if you don’t even try.”

The growth evident in the early part of the season that is emerging despite being in the heavy part of its schedule has been there for Mullen.

“I think last year we were just getting the hang of it, but now this year we’re bigger and stronger and everything, and we have a better of chance of being competitive with (the likes of) Kent Denver, Arapahoe an CA,” Hanzel said.

--- Neil H. Devlin

Spring has sprung: Mullen set for Season No. 3
Monday, February 26, 2018

There’s still snow on the ground throughout much of Colorado, so it can only mean one thing concerning high schools – the spring sports season is here.

Mullen will join hundreds of in-state schools in opening preseason practice on Monday, Feb. 26.

The third of three sports seasons in the school year includes seven sports and the Mustangs will field entries in all of them – baseball, girls golf, boys and girls lacrosse, girls soccer, boys swimming and diving, girls tennis, and boys and girls track and field.

There will be three new head coaches for the Mustangs – Jim Alexander in baseball, Melynda Brown in girls lacrosse and Ashley Tait in girls golf.

Weather permitting, girls golf and girls tennis may open competition on Thursday, March 1. All others are slated to open on Thursday, March 8.

Below is a spring schedule outline for Mustangs by sport:

Baseball: Regular season runs through May 8; 5A districts to be completed, May 12; 5A Championship Series, May 18-19 and May 25-26, All-City Field.

Girls golf: Regular season runs through May 4; regionals to be completed by May 11; 3A state championship, Elmwood Golf Course, Pueblo, May 21-22.

Boys lacrosse: Regular season runs through May 5; 5A boys lacrosse playoffs, May 10-May 18, final at Mile High Stadium.

Girls lacrosse: Regular season runs through May 5; playoffs May 9-23, final at University of Denver.

Girls soccer: Regular season runs through May 5; 4A playoffs May 8-23, final at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Boys swimming and diving: Regular season runs through May 12; 4A championships, May 18-19, U.S. Air Force Academy.

Girls tennis: Regular season runs through April 27; regionals to be completed by May 5; 4A state championships, May 10-12, Pueblo City Park.

Boys and girls track and field: Regular season runs through May 12; 4A state championship May, 17-19, Jefferson County Stadium.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Maddi Lane to receive rugby award from Sportswomen of Colorado
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

It’s a busy time for Maddi Lane.

The senior at Mullen is on the mend from suffering three concussions. She’s training to keep up her rugby skills. She’s dealing with keeping her grade-point average above a 4.0. She’s headed out of state to visit some college campuses.

And she won an award from Sportswomen of Colorado.

Lane will receive the rugby award from the organization that annually highlights female athletics. She will join other winners in the 44th annual awards program on Sunday, March 11.

“I’m nervous and I didn’t know what to expect,” Lane said in commenting on her application being sent in, then recognized. “I didn’t think I would win it.”

Lane, whose mother, Karen, is an administrative assistant in Mustangs athletics, played for the West Side Swarm Club team the past fall that finished second in Colorado. She said she’s “not sure if I’ll play this spring. The plan right now is to lay low. I’ve gotten the three concussions within the past year and I really want to play in college. I’m just trying to take a recovery break.”

Her spring team is the Rocky Mountain Rebels and her primary positon is scrum-half.

As for colleges, Lane said, “I’m kind of all over.” Academic-wise, she said, her applications to Montana State and St. Mary’s, Calif., have been submitted. She’s also accepted at Long Island University-Post and Kutztown, Pa., and both have offered. She’ll also be checking out Queens in Charlotte, N.C.

“I’m looking east for rugby,” Lane said. “It’s more dominant on the East Coast … I just don’t know if I want to be that far away.”

If not, she also has applied to Regis Jesuit. Her GPA is 4.1 and remains undecided on a major, although international studies is an option “to help people.”

The banquet will take place at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. Susie Wargin and Marcia Neville will handle the microphones. Sportswomen received a record number of nominations and will present 57 awards, plus the Sportswoman of the Year. More information at www.sportswomenofcolorado.org/banquet.

 

WINNERS

Michaela Onyenwere - Basketball - High School (Grandview High School) 

Kennedy Leonard - Basketball - College (University of Colorado) 

Elizabeth Constien - Cross Country - High School (Battle Mountain High School) 

Dani Jones - Cross Country - College (University of Colorado) 

Julie Lyons - Cycling (Greenwood Village, CO) 

Jennifer Valente - Cycling - Track (Colorado Springs, CO)

Sally Ann Foscha - Barrel Racing (Calhan, CO)

Kristina Matthews - Equestrian - Hunter/Jumper - (Denver, CO)

Emma Domich - Field Hockey - High School (Kent Denver School) 

Hailey Schalk - Golf - High School (Holy Family High School)

Mary Weinstein - Golf - College (Regis Jesuit High School) 

Kaylie Berens - Gymnastics - High School (Pomona High School) 

Meilan Haberi - Ice Hockey (Air Academy High School) 

Beth Goralski - Ice Climbing (Gypsum, CO)

Liz Anderson and Hailey Roberts - Competitive Jump Roping (Denver, CO)

Bridget Sutter - Lacrosse - High School (Colorado Academy) 

Sarah Brown - Lacrosse - College (University of Colorado)

Becky Wade - Marathon (Louisville, CO) 

Madison Lane - Rugby (Mullen High School)

Libby James - Running - Masters (Fort Collins, CO)

Carson Saabye - Shooting Sports - Air Pistol (USA Shooting/Palmer Ridge High School) 

Petra Hynčicová - Skiing - Nordic - College (University of Colorado) 

Stacy Gaskill - Snowboard - Freeride (Golden, CO)  

Lindsay Horan - Soccer - Professional (Portland Thorns (NWSL), USWNT) 

Haley Schueppert- Soccer - High School (Mountain Vista High School) 

Jalen Tompkins - Soccer - College - DI (University of Colorado)

Emily Garnier - Soccer - College - DII (Colorado School of Mines) 

Kaley Wilson - Softball - High School (Eaglecrest High School) 

Haley Hutton - Softball - College (Colorado State University)

Zoe Bartel - Swimming - High School (Fossil Ridge High School) 

Bailey Andison - Swimming - College (University of Denver) 

Kathy Garnier - Swimming - Masters (Littleton, CO)

Sarah Thomas - Swimming - Open Water - Marathon (Conifer, Colorado)

Ky Ecton - Tennis - High School (Poudre High School) 

Samantha Martinelli - Tennis (Denver, Colorado) 

Maya Evans - Track & Field (Field - Jumps) - High School (Lutheran High School) 

Arria Minor - Track & Field (Track - Sprints) - High School (Denver East High School) 

Brie Oakley - Track & Field (Track - Distance) - High School (Grandview High School)  

Mel Heri - Track and Field - Field (Chadron State College)

Alija Konieczek - Track and Field - Track (Western State University)

Joanne Marriott - Track and Field - Field - Masters (Arvada, CO)

Rose Namajunas - UFC - Professional (Denver, CO) 

Courtney Dauwalter - Ultra Distance Running (Golden, Colorado) 

Keely Davis - Volleyball - High School (Rock Canyon High School) 

Alexa Smith - Volleyball - College (University of Colorado)

Soliel Gaylord - All-Around - Telluride High School/USA Mountain Running (Telluride, Colorado)

Jim Turgeon - Coach of the Year - College (Colorado State University - Pueblo - Basketball) 

Mary Mosher-Stathes - Empowerment (Rosie's Ranch - Englewood, CO) 

Joy Rondeau- Inspiration (Grand County, CO) 

Caryn Jarocki - Milestone (Highlands Ranch High School)

Abby Farrell- Para-Olympic Athlete of the Year (University of Illinois/Colorado Springs, CO)

Jennifer Jansonius - Perseverance (Broomfield, CO)

Jessie Banks - Dorothy Mauk Pioneer Award (Pueblo, Colorado) 

Geneva Gray - Trailblazer  (Bacone College - Oklahoma)

Six honorees will become members of the hall of fame for receiving three awards in the same sport over the years. They join an impressive list, including Mikaela Shiffrin, Ellen Hart, Emma Coburn, Jenny Simpson and Missy Franklin.

Hall members are not eligible to receive awards in their sport in future years, but will remain eligible for Special Awards and Sportswoman of the Year.

Maya Evans - Basketball

Lindsay Horan - Soccer 

Samantha Martinelli - Tennis

Michaela Onyenwere - Basketball 

Carson Saaybe - Shooting 

Bridget Sutter - Lacrosse

--- Compiled by Neil H. Devlin

Busy sports weekend to include ice hockey gathering and tribute to Sawyer Dow
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Despite no classes because of parent-teacher conferences at the end of the week, Mullen winter sports will have a busy couple of days, notably on Saturday, when the Mustangs will host a tribute to Sawyer Dow.

Before the Mustangs’ ice hockey game at the Edge Ice Arena against Pueblo County, there will be a moment of silence for Dow, a senior who was killed recently in Clear Creek Canyon. The community is invited to come out and celebrate his life with Mullen students, share some pizza and swap memories while enjoying the Highlands Conference game.

The puck will drop at 8:30 p.m. Mullen is 3-8 overall, 2-6 in conference. Most recently, it blitzed Woodland Park 9-0. The Hornets are 9-1, 8-0, and right behind conference-leading Valor Christian (10-0 in the Highlands). The two teams will have the second game of a back-to-back on Saturday, 2:30 p.m., at Pueblo Plaza Ice Arena.

The Mustangs boys and girls basketball teams also held moments of silence for Dow earlier this week in addition to players either wearing T-shirts in his honor or marking themselves as a show of support for him.

On Friday, basketballers will take on Overland in the Centennial League. In boys, where the Trailblazers have rallied after a 1-7 start to even their overall mark and race to a 5-0 league start, are currently in command of the Centennial. They beat Grandview by a point on a 3-point buzzer-beater on Wednesday. Mullen, now 8-5, 3-2, is coming off a 66-40 home victory against Cherokee Trail and matched its most league victories since the 2009-10 season.

And in girls, the Mustangs are 6-8, 3-2, and fresh from a 62-51 victory at Cherokee Trail. The Trailblazers are 4-7, 2-2.  

As for wrestling, the Mustangs will be in the dual meets at Jefferson on Friday, then head to Kersey on Saturday for a series of duals at Platte Valley.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Mullen sports action to resume on Jan. 2 and include grade-school play
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Welcome back.

The second half of the 2017-18 sports year for Mullen will begin on Jan. 2 despite classes not resuming until Jan. 8.

On Tuesday, boys basketball will host Aurora’s Grandview, tip-off at 6 p.m. It will be the first of three meetings for Mullen with the Wolves – the two will meet twice later in the Centennial League, but this one will fill a previously open spot for both programs and be nonleague.

Ice hockey will have two demanding games in the week. First, the Mustangs will host regular-challenger Valor Christian on Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., at the Edge Ice Arena, then travel to Family Sports Center Hamilton on Friday to meet always powerful and longtime-rival Regis Jesuit.

On Thursday, boys and girls basketballers on all levels will open league play against Arapahoe, with the boys being on the road and girls at home at Hutchison Fieldhouse. Varsity games will start at 7 p.m.

Girls swimmers will compete in the GrandVista Invitational at Littleton from Friday-Saturday that also will include Lotus School for Excellence, Northridge, Platte Canyon, Ralston Valley, Rampart, Evergreen and Grandview.

Saturday competition also will involve boys and girls basketball at Eaglecrest – boys varsity at 4:30 p.m. and girls at 6 p.m. – as well as the Mustangs Invitational for wrestling, an all-day gathering that will feature finals matches at approximately 4 p.m.

In addition, on Jan. 2 Mullen will have Celebrate the New Year Basketball Games prior to its matchup against Grandview. Several top club teams on the grade-school level as well as feeder teams for Mullen will be in action and coached by familiar names.

Below is a schedule:

2 p.m., Hutchison, girls, The Edge Sixth Grade, coached by Mike O’Connell, vs. Colorado Skills Sixth Grade, headed by Gabe Trujillo.

3 p.m., Old Gym, boys, Legend Third Grade (Dan Simington) vs. Mustangs Third Grade (Vince Valdez).

3 p.m., Hutchison, boys, D’Evelyn Eighth Grade (Enrique Aguilar) vs. Mustangs Eighth Grade (Brian Davis).

4 p.m., Old Gym, boys, Pro Skills Fifth Grade (Ross Schraeder) vs. Mustangs Fifth Grade (Dom Martinez).

4 p.m., Hutchison, boys, ThunderRidge Eighth Grade (R. Ray) vs. Mustangs Eight Grade (Brian Davis).

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Mustangs' Caton, Schenbeck to join CHSCA hall of fame in March
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Bob Caton and Tony Schenbeck, each with Mullen ties, have been named to the latest hall of fame class of the Colorado High School Coaches Association.

Caton is in his first season of heading Mustangs boys basketball and Schenbeck had two long stints in Mullen coaching and administration.

A Denver West graduate and familiar figure on city-area basketball sidelines for decades, Caton uniquely played in the CHSCA all-state game – in 1967 in Pueblo – as well as coached in it, in 1985 and 2011. A man who has more than 500 victories with other stops at Manual, Denver West, George Washington, Aurora Central and Highlands Ranch, Caton’s teams own two state runner-up finishes, six trips to the final four and 14 times to the quarterfinals. He’s also a former team captain and MVP at Colorado State.

When he took over the Mustangs program to start the 2017-18 season, athletic director Vince Massey referred to Caton “a legend.”

As for Schenbeck, the Nebraskan and Northern Colorado graduate started his career at Mead Junior High before landing at Mullen, where his 10-year stint included leading the baseball program to a state title (1978) and a runner-up finish (1972). A 20-year run as baseball coach and athletic director followed at the new Overland in Aurora and included the 1990 championship and 1989 semifinals appearance. Then it was back to Mullen for another nine years (with a semifinals showing in 2002). All told, his teams were 398-269, he had 40 years on the jobs and he coached in the all-state game six times, three at Mile High Stadium, where the Denver Bears played.

Caton and Schenbeck are joined in the class with Swink’s Al Blanc, who coached boys basketball for nearly 50 years; Prairie’s Maggie Kilmer, a stalwart in volleyball who was there at the outset of female sanctioning; and Simla’s Al Snyder, well-known in small-school girls basketball and who will join his wife, Sue, in the hall.

Induction ceremony will be March 24 at the Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast in Aurora, 5:30 p.m. Tickets and additional information can be found at www.colochsa.org.

--- Neil H. Devlin

  

Boys hoops tourney set for Thursday-Saturday
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Mullen Holiday Classic Tournament for boys basketball has been set.

It will be played Thursday through Saturday at the Hutchison Fieldhouse.

Host Mullen will play on Friday, 7 p.m., against Pomona, then on Saturday, 2 p.m., against Thompson Valley.

Below is the complete schedule:

Thursday

Thompson Valley vs. Pomona, 7 p.m.

Friday

 Pomona vs. Mullen, 7 p.m.

Saturday

Thompson Valley vs. Mullen, 2 p.m.

Pomona vs. Denver West, 3:30 p.m.

 

Several Mustangs honored as all-league in fall
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Several Mustangs have been honored as all-league in fall competition.

Below is a sport-by-sport list:

 

Boys cross country

First team all-Centennial – Bryce Maderis.

Second team – Will Locasio.

 

Football

First team all-Mt. Cameron – Damien Cearns, Wind Henderson, Adrian Jackson, Aiden Keenaaina, Broc Langren, Florian McCann III, Taye Mitchell, A’Jon Vivens.

Second team – Damien Quiroz, Ivan Rodriguez, Vincenco Saurini, Vaughnn Stitt.

Honorable mention – Silas Daffin, henry Haen, Cooper Johnson, Zach Krause, Dante Silva.

 

Boys golf

First team all-Centennial – Mario Dino.

 

Boys soccer

First team all-Centennial – Andrew Zeaman.

Honorable mention – Grant Reuter.

 

Softball

First team all-Centennial – Tatum Maloney, Marissa Sanchez.

Second team – Elena Garcia, Caley McKune.

Honorable mention all-state – Tatum Maloney, Marissa Sanchez.

Senior all-state game – Tatum Maloney.

 

Volleyball

First team all-Centennial – Kendall Malone.

Second team -- Shannon Stone.

Honorable mention – Morgan Wills.

All-State Game by Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports – Kendall Malone.

 --- Neil H. Devlin

 

 

 

Ready, set, begin … Winter sports set to rock on Wednesday
Monday, November 27, 2017

Sports season No. 2 on the annual docket, winter, will begin competition on Wednesday (Nov. 29).

Mullen will field teams in boys and girls basketball, ice hockey, girls swimming and diving, and wrestling.

There are two new head coaches this season – longtime Colorado figure Bob Caton now is in command of boys basketball and John Howes, a former assistant to Vince Massey and longtime figure in Jefferson County, has taken over wrestling. Frank Cawley remains as head girls basketball coach, Susan Stone continues to lead Mustangs in the pool and Devon Brady heads ice hockey.

As usual, winter sports will overlap with the final three football titles of the fall season, which will be played on Saturday (Dec. 2), and shut down over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. First state titles will be contested in February, then wrap up in mid-March.

Mullen competitors will have a busy first week.

Boys basketballers will have two home games, opening on Wednesday against Abraham Lincoln, then hosting longtime parochial-rival Regis Jesuit on Saturday. Tip-offs will be 7 p.m.

In girls basketball, opening night will be Thursday. The Mustangs will meet Broomfield at 5:30 p.m. at the ThunderRidge-Castle View Tournament to be held in Highlands Ranch and Castle Rock. They’ll also play in the Douglas County District-sponsored gathering on Friday and Saturday, times and foes TBD.

Concerning wrestling, Mullen starts with a dual meet on Thursday, 7 p.m., at Grandview in Aurora. The Mustangs also will be in the Golden Tournament on Saturday, an all-day affair.

In the pool, Mullen will begin with a meet at Arapahoe on Thursday, 5 p.m., then travel to ever-present Cherry Creek in Greenwood Village on Saturday.

And on the ice, Mullen will host Denver East on Saturday, 8:30 p.m., at the Edge Ice Arena.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Winter sports set to begin practice on Friday
Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Season No. 2 can open practice on Friday.

Boys and girls basketball, ice hockey, boys and girls skiing, girls swimming and diving, and wrestling are set to open winter sports. Preseason practice will last for nearly three weeks.

Winter’s regular season may begin on Nov. 29 as there once again will be overlap with the end of the fall season.

As usual, the holidays will interrupt winter play from before Christmas until after New Year’s Day.

Below are key dates and sites for each sport as related to Mullen:

Boys and girls basketball – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 17. Playoff brackets to be released on Feb. 18. Championship March 10 at the Denver Coliseum.

Ice hockey – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 17. Playoff bracket to be released on Feb. 18. Championship March 5.

Boys and girls skiing – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 17. State championship May 22-23 hosted by Lake County.

Girls swimming and diving – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 3. State championship Feb. 9-10 at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, Thornton.

Wrestling – Season begins Nov. 29. Regular season runs through Feb. 3. Regionals Feb. 9-10. State championship Feb. 15-17 at the Pepsi Center.

--- Neil H. Devlin 

 

Max Thenell, a special guy, honored with a special award
Saturday, November 04, 2017

Mullen honored senior Max Thenell, a popular football team member who has autism, with an award on Frifday night in the game against Northglenn.

He was presented with the Brandon Burlsworth Award, which goes to a senior player who demonstrates great team character and sportsmanship.

It is for an individual who is an outstanding teammate and expects very little in return.

The players gets recognition for hard work and contributions to the team, yet gives his all every single day.

It was presented to him by his uncle, head coach Tom Thenell, in a ceremony on the field before the game. It was Senior Night.

--- Neil H. Devlin

I

 
Northglenn at Mullen will be Broncos high school game of the week
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In its final home game of the regular season, Mullen football will have an interesting partner of sorts for pregame festivities in Friday Night Lights.

The Denver Broncos.

The Mustangs’ game in Week 10 of 2017 against Northglenn in the Class 5A Mt. Cameron League will also be the Broncos high school game of the week. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., tailgating at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at de La Salle Stadium will include the Broncos Cheerleaders, Super Bowl Trophies and Children’s Hospital Colorado/Broncos giveaways. In addition, the game can be heard on iHeartRadio.

Here is a schedule:

Pictures and autographs with Broncos cheerleaders as well as Broncos alumni, 6-6:50 p.m.

Pictures with Super Bowl L Trophy, 6-7 p.m.

Children's Hospital tent giveaway before the game.

The Mustangs, 2016 league champions and state quarterfinalists, are 4-5 overall, 2-2 in league. They currently stand 13th in RPI playoff-qualifying through their considerable schedule that included games against the likes of Pomona, two-time defending 5A state champion Valor Christian, Bothell, Wash., Columbine and Fairview. Sixteen teams will be announced in the Class 5A postseason bracket on Sunday.

Northglenn is 5-4, 1-3.

 --- Neil H. Devlin

 

Parris again played on All-Academic Team in Arizona Classic in baseball
Friday, October 13, 2017

Mullen baseballer Reggie Parris recently played in the Arizona Senior Fall Classic on the All-Academic Team.

It was the second straight year Parris played in the game. He made it through his club team, Slammers Martin.

It was held at the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona.

In the spring, Parris helped the Mustangs to a 10-10 mark in the Class 5A Centennial League. He pitched, played 1st base and in the outfield.

In 10 pitching appearances, he was 3-2 on the mound with a 3.20 earned-run average. He also was 2-for-6 batting with 4 RBIs, according to statistics posted by the Mustangs.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Like others, Mustangs on the pitch embarrassed by U.S. Soccer failure
Thursday, October 12, 2017

I laughed as much as I was disgusted a few years ago, when U.S. Soccer suddenly decreed that promising teenagers playing the high-school game were considered as completely wasting their time and the people who ran the national pitch insisted that they switch to academy play.

It was supposed to help U.S. standing among world soccer powers.

But on Tuesday night, when the good, ol’ U.S. was unceremoniously ousted from World Cup qualifying, I had pretty much the same feelings, although laughter probably had a comfortable edge.

Not only was our country in a weak qualifying group, but the U.S. fell 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago. Not some soccer juggernaut such as Brazil or Germany or Italy, but Trinidad and Tobago.

For those of you just joining us, Trinidad and Tobago.

Mullen soccer folks can spot a joke when they see one.

“Who even knows where Trinidad and Tobago is?” Mullen senior and leading scorer Andrew Seaman wondered. “A lot of kids can’t find it on the map. I had a world report on it and had never heard of it.”

ESPN led the assault on the national program, ripping everyone from the director to the players. And why not? The sport that was supposed to sweep our country for at least the past five decades hasn’t even come close. The alleged beautiful game suddenly has an ugly following ... if anything resembling a following at all.

“I don’t think that a couple of people tweeting about it or having a theory fully covers the breadth and scope of what’s wrong,” Mullen head coach Matthew Guglielmo said.

The coach laments the lack of people of color not playing the game in this country as well as the astronomical costs of entering young players into the clubs and academies, turning it into an upper-class sport versus what is considered more of a sport for the poor across the planet.

And it’s not working.

“Something’s wrong,” Guglielmo said. “We’re trying to use a European or South American model that can’t be constructed.”

Discarding high-school soccer also is a ludicrous, he added: “It will never be the end of high-school soccer, but they haven’t done their jobs.”

Said Seaman: “I don’t get it, either. Soccer is soccer, whether you’re playing a good team or a bad team, or in club.”

And not knowing what to do with top prospects or how to develop them has been an American problem for generations. It has been underlined – the rest of the world plays real soccer; what happens in the U.S. is something else entirely.

“If my kids are studs, really good and boys, I’ll just send them to Italy or France,” Guglielmo said. “It’s not happening here. We don’t have the funding for it, it’s not on (television), people don’t care …”

Seaman termed it as “an embarrassment. We have no soccer teams and for the people who watch it’s really bad. The MLS (Major League Soccer) is, like, the laughingstock of soccer.”

And while U.S. head coach Bruce Arena was on TV attempting to deflect criticism and remain resistant to massive changeover, practically everyone else screamed for wholesale, sweeping change.

That is, if they cared., a fact U.S. Soccer officials must now consider.

“Heads have to roll everywhere,” Guglielmo said.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Keep up and pay attention, or you'll fall back
Monday, October 09, 2017

The dominoes effect is under way for fall state championships.

So pay attention to the information below and try to keep up …

Beginning with Saturday’s climax of boys tennis championships, the mad dash is on for the fall postseason.

In addition to tennis, softball will have regional action on Saturday.

Keeping the train moving, on Oct. 16 the state softball pairings will be released with play from Oct. 20-21 at the Aurora Sports Park. Oct. 21 also is the day for final, regular-season play in boys soccer and volleyball, as well as 6-man football.

And on it goes … soccer pairings will be released on Sunday, Oct. 22. The field hockey title will be decided on Oct. 26. The cross country championships will be Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.

More? State gymnastics from Nov. 3-4 at Thornton High. Larger-class football will end its regular season on Nov. 4. Soccer championships on Nov. 11 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. And, lest we forget, winter sports will begin practice on Nov. 10. They can play for keeps on Nov. 29

The top two classes of football will decide crowns on Dec. 2 at the Broncos’ Stadium.

Busy? You bet. It’s the way of the Colorado student-athlete at this time of year.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

5 Mullen facts to know heading into state golf
Friday, September 29, 2017

Here are five facts to know about Mullen heading into Colorado’s Class 4A boys golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday:

  1. It will be contested at Raccoon Creek Golf Course in Littleton that has hosted two girls championships and one other for boys. The Mustangs got in a practice round on Friday.
  2. It will play at par-72 and about 7,000 yards. Think “Caddyshack.” “Big hitter, the Lama … l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g.”
  3. First-day Mullen tee times, all on No. 1 tee – Mario Dino, 8:30 a.m.; Thomas Hicks, 8:39; Rhett Johnson 8:48; Cole Reister, 8:57.
  4. Ground is being cleared for a new clubhouse at the course.
  5. The head professional is Pat Tait, father of Ashley Tait, a Mustang who was medalist three times in the early-to-mid-2000s. The elder Tait has been a pro for 29 years (also at The Meadows G.C.), the past 20 at Raccoon Creek.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Suddenly stating principles doesn't mask bad behavior and examples
Monday, September 25, 2017

Certainly, unless you were under a rock and missed Sunday football, you saw what happened across the NFL.

Players and others in the league refused to traditionally stand for the National Anthem. Some stayed in the locker room. Others knelt. A few displayed raised, clenched fists.

The debate rages on as to whether or not you stand with the President and his comments or if you side with the players, who also were a bit divided as to why they actually were trying to protest and if Sunday was the end of it or there would be more.

But there is zero debate about the following – even with players insisting they were concerned about making social change, they certainly did little to even hint at making a switch in their on-field antics that clearly have gotten way out of hand.

To wit (and without bothering to name names because you know who they are):

A New York Giants receiver who has been hurt and whining about his salary scored his first touchdown of the season and promptly went to all fours and pretended to defecate on the field like a K-9. Afterward, he was quoted as saying “I’m a dog.”

A Chicago defensive back had a blocked field goal fall right in between the numbers on the front of his jersey. He took off to run for what should have been an easy 71-yard touchdown, but in order to be ready to celebrate and let the crowd and world know what he did, he slowed near the 5-yard line, was caught from behind and had the ball knocked out of his hands, thereby erasing what would have been a sure score. “I thought I was in,” he said. “But, you know, obviously, I wasn’t.”

And a Denver defender, one who’s ordinarily a high-character guy, knocked down a quarterback, got up, reached out to lend a hand to help up the quarterback, then suddenly pulled back as if to say: “Psych!” He was given an unsportsmanlike penalty that helped lead to a loss.

They weren’t alone as for some reason seemingly every tackle, sack, knocked-down pass, catch, pass, rush, return, block or kick on every Sunday of every month of every season apparently needs to be “celebrated” so that players “can have fun.”

However, if the Fun Boys suddenly insist they are principled and stand together in what just recently was a more-divided NFL, and want to display a stand on something, it would be easier to take them much more seriously if their self-centered shenanigans all about I, me and mine (and their money) didn’t set such a horrid example of how to act on the field for kids, notably high-school players who frequently hang on their every action.

A bad example is a bad example and suddenly stating principles doesn't mask them.

Period.

--- Neil H. Devlin

Cherry Creek knocks off Mustangs 2-1 in Centennial softball
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mullen dropped its second consecutive Centennial League softball game on Saturday, losing 2-1 to Cherry Creek in Greenwood Village.

The Mustangs dipped to 7-6 overall, 0-2 in league.

“We left too many runners on base and didn’t have the timely hitting,” Mustangs head coach Greg Hogan said.

The Mustangs stranded seven runners and didn’t back up the six-hit pitching of sophomore Marissa Sanchez, including making two throwing errors.

A very busy week awaits the Mustangs, four games in six days, three in league. On Monday, they will be at Cherokee Trail in Aurora; home against Smoky Hill on Tuesday; at Air Academy on Thursday; and home against Overland on Saturday.

“We’ve got to get some ‘W’s’, got to get it going,” Hogan said.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Don't blink, the first postseason event of 2017-18 is upon us
Monday, September 18, 2017

Time flies.

Don’t argue.

Believe it or not, the postseason for 2017-18 begins Tuesday (Sept. 19). Mullen’s boys golfers will be in Colorado Springs competing in regional rounds, the step before the state tournament.

I know, I almost can’t believe it, either. But the boys golf season is short, begins in August and here we are.

It could be interesting for Mullen, perhaps right away as well as long term. The Mustangs will be sending one sophomore (Cole Reister) and three freshmen (Mario Dino, Thomas Hicks and Rhett Johnson) to the Country Club of Colorado. All have enjoyed assorted moments this season and they did well as a group by keeping within range of Centennial League powers Arapahoe and Cherry Creek.

They will be playing in Class 4A Region 2 along with members from Air Academy, Arvada, Cheyenne Mountain, D’Evelyn, Elizabeth, Green Mountain, Littleton, Mitchell, Ponderosa, Pueblo County, Standley Lake, Wheat Ridge, Valor Christian, Vista Ridge and George Washington.

And they have an opportunity to send one, two, three or all four players to the 4A championship, Oct. 2-3 at Raccoon Creek G.C. In Littleton.

So, yes, it goes by quickly.

Pay attention before you miss it.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Soccer match postponed after Silver Creek bus in an accident
Saturday, September 02, 2017

Mullen’s boys soccer home match on Friday against Longmont’s Silver Creek was postponed after an accident.

The Raptors were travelling to the match and their bus was involved in an accident, according to Mullen coach Matthew Guglielmo.

However, no injuries were reported, Guglielmo said.

A makeup date has not been announced.

The match was scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.   

--- Neil H. Devlin

Mullen falls to reigning power Valor in softball
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mullen fell to three-time defending Class 4A state champion Valor Christian on Wednesday.

The Mustangs lost the road game 4-3 to fall to 1-2 on the season.

In continuing their demanding schedule – they earlier faced 4A power D’Evelyn and emerging 5A Regis Jesuit – the Mustangs also were outhit 10-7.

Jessica Haley had two of Mullen’s hits. Marissa Sanchez, a sophomore who also took the pitching loss, Cakey McKune and Tatum Maloney each drove home runs for Mullen.

Mullen next will be in action this Thursday (Aug. 31) and into the weekend in the Erie Tournament.

--- Neil H. Devlin

Boys soccer drops first match in 2017, 5-2 to JFK
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A first-half barrage was too difficult for Mullen to overcome on Monday.

The Mustangs suffered their first loss of the season, 5-2 to the Denver Prep League’s John F. Kennedy.

Now 1-1-1, host Mullen was hit for five goals in the first half of the Class 4A nonleague match.

Freshman A.J. Gamueda and senior Michael Jimenez scored for the Mustangs. Junior Patrick Rooney added an assist.

Mullen will return to action on Friday, 4:30 p.m., at home against Longmont’s Silver Creek in another 4A nonleaguer.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Boys soccer ties 2-2 at Steamboat Springs
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mullen hit the road into the mountains on Saturday and earned a tie.

The Mustangs drew at host Steamboat Springs, 2-2, in their second match of the season, a Class 4A nonleaguer.

Ryan Irvine and Christian Rapp scored for Mullen, which now is 1-0-1 on the season.

The Mustangs next will see action on Monday, in their home opener, 4:30 p.m., against nearby John F. Kennedy of the Denver Prep League.

Former K/P JK Scott alive and kicking at Alabama
Friday, August 25, 2017

Remember JK Scott? The tall, lean kick/punter who starred for Mullen from 2010-13?

He has been punting since his freshman season for perennial power Alabama. In his three seasons for the Crimson Tide, the 6-foot-6, 204-pound Scott has averaged 48.0, 44.2 and 47.2 yards per punt … basically at sea level.

For his career, Scott has punted 189 times for an average of 46.3.

It may get better for the former Mustang very soon – he will remain the team’s punter, coach Nick Saban said, but it’s a possibility Scott may also combine kicking off and being the Alabama man for long field-goal attempts.

Below is a link for an interesting story – including quoting Mullen head coach Tom Thenell – on what lies ahead for Scott this season.

The story, from BAMAinsider.com, suggests Scott could save the Cromson Tide’s kicking game.

https://alabama.rivals.com/news/jk-scott-could-solve-alabama-s-kicking-problems  

 

 

Boys golfers again take 3rd in Centennial League meet
Friday, August 25, 2017

Boys golfers took third as a team and fared well individually at the second Centennial League gathering of the season.

Playing on Thursday at Aurora’s Murphy Creek Golf Course, always a tough track, the Mustangs took third in the eight-team league field. They totaled 304.

They also were third in the first match of the season, at Aurora Hills G.C.

Better yet, Mullen had two players shoot 1-over par – Mario Dino and Thomas Hicks each fired 73s. They tied for third place. Cole Reister contributed 78. Rhett Johnson shot 80 and Nic Mayhan had 88.

In junior varsity, Mullen also finished third, scoring 351. Individuals -- Sean Wallace 82, Eli Marquez 84, John Wallace 89 and Jakob Beckish 96.

Next up on the schedule – another league gathering, on Wednesday at South Suburban G.C.

 

Boys soccer wins debut, 1-0 at Vista Ridge
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mullen opened the boys soccer season on Thursday night with a 1-0 victory against Vista Ridge in Colorado Springs in nonleague.

The only score of the game came from Andrew Seaman. He was assisted by Grant Reuter.

The Mustangs next will be at Steamboat Springs on Saturday.

Wednesday roundup: Boys tennis, softball earn victories
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mullen’s boys tennis opened its season on Wednesday and earned a 5-2 victory dual-match over Air Academy at the U.S. Air Force Base above Colorado Springs.

In the debut of new coach Jacob Ohrman, the Mustangs won one of three singles spots and all four doubles placings.

At No. 2 singles, Mac Caldwell won 6-0, 6-2. In doubles, J.P. Starkey-Tanner Amman won 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 at No. 1; Ben Logan-Thomas Logan won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2; Charley Manta-Johnny Grow won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3; and Dominic Jablonsky-Ethan Hart won 6-4, 6-3.

At No. 1 singles, George Henry Hanzel dropped a tight one, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, and at No. 3, Dante Dino fell 6-1, 6-1.

The Mustangs will return to face the Kadets and others in the Air Academy tournament Friday-Saturday.

In softball, the Mustangs, who dropped a one-run decision to Class 4A D’Evelyn on Tuesday, came back on Wednesday and downed host Regis Jesuit 3-0. Now 1-1, Mullen plated a run in the third inning and two more in the fifth.

The Mustangs permitted only three hits. They next will be at 4A power Valor Christian on Sept. 30.

 

 

Come and support the Mustangs on Friday
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A message from the Mullen football staff:

Come out and support the Mullen Mustangs as they take on Pomona Friday, 7 p.m., at the North Area Athletic Conplex (NAAC, Hwy. 93 and 64th in Arvada).

All students who are wearing a Mullen t-shirt and have their Mullen ID get free pizza at the gate.

We will be located in the southeast corner of the stadium parking lot.  Come cheer on the 2017  MUSTANGS!!

The game will also be televised live on the NFHS network,

Boys golfers finish 11th at Cherry Creek Invitational
Monday, August 21, 2017

Mullen boys golfers finished 11th as a team in the Cherry Creek Invitational on Monday at Buffalo Run Golf Course in Commerce City.

The Mustangs totaled 236 strokes to finish 11th in a 23-team field.

There were two four-man teams for Mullen.

Mullen Blue -- Thomas Hicks 77, Eli Marquez 78, Sean Wallace 81 and Joseph Long 89.

Mullen White -- Mario Dino 78, Nic Mayhan 79, Rhett Johnson 79 and Cole Reister 82.

 

JV golfers take third place at Heather Ridge
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Competing at Heather Ridge Golf Course in the Bishop Machebeuf Invitational, Mullen players faced a par-70. It’s a tight course built in 1972 that was private, then purchased by surrounding homeowners in 2010 and turned public.

The Mustangs posted individual scores ranging from 77 to more than 110, according to head coach Jerry Koehler.

Leading the way was Eli Marquez, who also was Mullen’s top scorer earlier in the week in varsity at The Broadlands G.C. in Broomfield. He shot 9-over-par 79 and finished third. Joseph Long was fourth with 80; Blake Good 20th with 90; and Jakob Beckish 24th at 92.

The varsity will play on Thursday at Meadow Hills G.C. in Aurora, the first Centennial League match of the season.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Precious few days remain for summer down time, so why panic?
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

 A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N … is making them wait.

With precious few days before the widespread start of fall practice as well as the first day of school, what’s a fall student-athlete to do?

Cram for a bunch of workouts and weight-room sessions? Go for long runs or sprints? Or nab a little – and probably much-needed – down time before the beginning of a busy stretch?

These are the thoughts that must be crossing the minds of teenagers not only here, but across the country.

Call it part of the process, including growing up.

So fret not. Preseason practice (Aug. 14) soon will be here. And so will the first day of school (if they haven’t started already).

And enjoy.

 

Contact

Head Coach 
Frank Cawley

Varsity Assistants
Bob O'Hare
Kirsten Hess

Junior Varsity Coach
Abby Neff

Sophomore Head Coach
Julie Metcalf

Freshman Head Coach 
Matt Degitis

Communications

 

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