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Mullen overcomes a Legend

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Mustangs open a 3-game week with a 51-40 victory over the Titans at home in nonleague; record is leveled at 5-5.
It was, Bob Caton admitted, kind of ugly to watch, but certainly lovely in terms of final score and standings.

The Mustangs leveled their record at 5-5 on a rare Monday night matchup that resulted in a 51-40 decision of Legend at Hutchison Fieldhouse in nonleague.

“We put a little more pressure on (the now 5-6 Titans) in the second half,” Caton, Mullen’s head coach, said.  “We needed our defense to be some of our offense tonight.”

Mullen held Legend to just three points over the final 8 minutes to win going away, a night in which its shots weren’t falling inside or outside, and turnovers made for rough stretches.

“At the end of the day,” Mustangs sophomore Jordan Leslie guard said, “our effort and hustled helped.”

With nine underclassmen on their roster, including four freshmen, the Titans were in it well into the second half before Mullen got some transition going from its defense and created separation.

“Yeah,” Caton said of another hard-fought game, “It was good for us. We need to work on some things and itis good for us to work on getting that experience.”

Josh Lopez led Mullen with 18 points, including 9-of-9 free throws. Over the past five games, he has been an automatic 37-of-37. And Micah Leslie, getting it together after knee surgery kept him sidelined until after the holiday break, added 14.

Legend also has three of Caton’s former prep players on staff that added to the competition.

Mullen will resume Centennial League play on Thursday, Jan. 14, at Smoky Hill in Aurora, 7 p.m.

“We’re going to play some of the toughest teams in the state,” Jordan Leslie said.

Legend  9  14  14  3  --  40

Mullen  10  16  13  12  --  51

Mullen – J. Leslie 1 0-0 2, Lopez 4 9-9 18, Heffern 1 0-0 2, Smith 2 2-2 6, M. Leslie 6 2-5 14, Roth 0 0-0 0, Diasselliss 1 2-2 5, Castillo 0 0-0 0, Lay 2 0-2 4, Jerez 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 15-20 51.

3-pt. goals – Diasselliss, Lopez.