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'Stangs override RV ... again

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Mullen beats Rastoin Valley a 2nd time, 49-38, to move to 11-4; important meeting at Arapahoe on Thursday; Perez, Schwertner and Jones stand out in nonleague.
No apologies are necessary.

Mullen got past Ralston Valley 49-38 on Saturday in nonleague play at Hutchison Fieldhouse. It was its second victory in 2021-22 over the Jefferson County Mustangs – Mullen won 67-32 on Dec. 4 in the Horizon Tournament – and pushed its record to 11-4.

Indeed, it was a closer game and Class 4A Mullen, ranked No. 2, is still dealing with some offensive issues, but head coach Frank Cawley won’t waste time complaining.

“At the end of the year,” he said, “they just ask how many wins you have, not how ugly they were.”

Mullen continues to count its victories large and small. Yes, senior and Texas Tech-bound Kilah Freelon remains sidelined with an ankle injury, but other contributions are being stacked.

On Saturday, Cawley called senior Imani Perez the best player on the floor with a game-high 15 points and nine rebounds. Her defense, stability and ability to get into transition were regular occurrences.

Freshman Tatum Jones went for 10 points and seven rebounds. Senior Gracie Gallegos added eight points to get within 10 of 1,000 in her decorated career. And Allison Schwertner, a sophomore, continued to contribute heavily, including handling the ball and defending.

Class 5A Ralston Valley shot only 38 percent.

“We did a really nice job rebounding and defending,” Cawley said.

Jones, seeing starts and quality minutes with Freelon sidelined, said “it was kind of diffuclt playing high school, it was really nerve-racking, but everyone else has been building me up and really encouraging me. I feel like I have a little confidence. Every game I try to get better.”

Mullen has completed its nonleague slate and its game on Thursday, Jan. 27, at Arapahoe (5:30 p.m.) also will cap its first go-round of home-and-away in league. Arapahoe, 5A No. 5, sits atop the Centennial at 3-0, a half-game ahead of the Mustangs and Grandview.

“Now,” Cawley said, “it gets even more tough, we have to deal with Arapahoe.”

Ralston Valley 9  8  11  10 -- 38

Mullen  12  10  16  11 -- 49

Ralston Valley – Sa. Sabus 3 1-2 9, Timon 2 0-0 6, So. Sabus 6 0-0 14, Townsend 2 1-2 5, Cardella 0 0-0 0, Wilder 2 0-0 4. Totals 15 2-4 38.

Mullen – Gutierrez 2 0-2 4, Perez 7 0-0 15, Schwertner 2 5-6 9, Gallegos 4 0-0 8, Jones 5 0-0 10, Giacomin 1 0-0 3, Thomas 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 5-8 49.

3-pt. goals – Sa. Sabus 2, So. Sabus 2, Timon 2, Giacomin, Perez.