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Mustangs complete Round 1 at 6-1

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Behind big 'D' and nice scoring efforts by Pohs, Gallegos, Dominguez and Oates-Stamm, Mullen completed the first-go-round in the Centennial at 6-1; rematch with top-rated Grandview is on Friday at The Hutch.
CENTENNIAL – In completing Round 1 of home-and-away through the Centennial League, Mullen easily handled host Arapahoe 78-48 on Wednesday night at Sitting Eagle Gymnasium.

Round 2 will begin on Friday, when the Mustangs, top-ranked in Class 4A, will host 5A No. 1 Grandview, which also is nationally ranked and everyone’s No. 1 in the Rocky Mountains regardless of classification.

Mullen has been waiting for a rematch since falling to the Wolves on opening night.

But first thing’s first – the Mustangs defense, which has been stellar, arose again. Heading into Wednesday, Mullen, which improved to 6-1 overall and in league, had given up only an aggregate 95 points in five outings. Against the Warriors, who dipped to 5-2, 5-2, it was more of the same.

“It’s about defense,” head coach Frank Cawley said. “I thought we were very good again and that has kind of become our identity. And I have confidence in all 12 of them. If it’s not one, it’s the other.”

Senior Jessica Oates-Stamm got her first start – Cawley said he has used six different starting lineups in the team’s seven games – and helped to spark a difference. It spread throughout the roster with the likes of Imani Perez cutting off the lane and blocking shots, Grace Gallegos and Alexa Dominguez guarding the perimeter tightly, and virtually every other Mustang rebounding, running down a loose ball or picking off a pass.

Offensively, Mullen took turns, too. Gallegos had 18 points and Megan Pohs 17. Dominguez added 12 and Oates-Stamm 10. Ten of 11 players scored.

“We stepped up,” Cawley said.

Plus, Mullen has been patiently waiting for another shot at Grandview and didn’t lose focus in six other league games.

“I thought it was a really good team game for us,” said Pohs, who’s signed to play at Regis. “We definitely could have done some things better (after a slower start), but we picked it up.”

Winning six games by blowout in between taking on Grandview hasn’t proven distracting, Pohs said, as “it has been nice, but we just focus on the next game after that. We’re ready for Grandview. I’m very excited. We all just need to do our parts.”

The Mustangs will host the Wolves, No. 17 in the country in the latest MaxPreps poll, on Friday, 7:15 p.m., at Hutchison Fieldhouse. Grandview won the first bout 68-53, the fist game in the new Season B, the latest opener in Colorado history and decided without a fan in the stands.

“They’re so good,” Cawley said of the Wolves, “but so are we. We learned some stuff the first time through and we’re excited to play them. We’ve stepped up and they’re the best team in the state.”

Mullen  15  23  20  20  --  78

Arapahoe  10   5   17  16  --  48

Mullen – Pohs 6 2-2 17, Dominguez 6 0-1 12, Oates-Stamm 4 0-0 10, Perez 0 1-2 1, Gallegos 6 5-7 18, Van Horn 2 0-0 5, Schwertner 1 0-3 2, Martinez 1 2-2 5, Webster 3 0-0 6, Gutierrez 0 0-0 0, Aragon 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 10-17 78.

Arapahoe – Morgan 4 1-2 9, Shaw 3 0-0 9, Edwards 6 0-2 12, Simonson 0 0-1 0, Crispe 8 2-2 18, Tummala 0 0-0 0, Jayasaker 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 3-7 48.

3-pt. goals – Pohs 3, Oates-Stamm 2, Gallegos, Martinez, Van Horn; Shaw 3.