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1-27 Basketball Roundup

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
'Stangs girls get beat at their own game in 54-45 setback to Arapahoe; boys turn it over repeatedly in 69-43 whipping.
 
Through the first half of the Centennial League home-and-away schedule, Mullen girls have some issues.

The Mustangs lost 54-45 to host Arapahoe on Thursday night in an effort that got the attention of head coach Frank Cawley, and it wasn’t the kind of notice he craves.

“I think we don’t handle adversity very well and we need to get mentally tougher,” he said after his team dipped to 11-5 overall, 3-2 in league (they won’t face struggling Overland and Smoky Hill until the second go-round through the league). “It just seemed as if they gave up. And that was not our defensive effort. I told them at halftime that (the Warriors, 11-3, 4-0) were playing Mullen defense and we weren’t, and we got beat defensively tonight and that’s alarming to me … it doesn’t happen.”

Mullen, the three-time defending Class 4A champion and ranked No. 2, was outscored 33-20 in the middle quarters and never recovered. Once down by 18 points, the Mustangs rallied to within six only to fall back again by double figures.
“We were unable to answer,” Cawley said. “It has been a topsy-turvy-type of thing.”
The Mustangs hadn't lost to the Warriors since 2018 aq span of six games.

Senior Gracie Gallegos went for 19 points in surpassing 1,000 for her career. She’s at 1,009. Cawley cited her as well as Imani Perez (13 points), but added: “They can’t do it by themselves.”

Next for Mullen is a home date on Saturday, Jan. 29, against Grandview in league, tip-off at 2:30 p.m.
 
ARAPAHOE 54, MULLEN 45

Mullen  8  10  10   17  –  45

Arapahoe  8  19  14  13  –  54

Mullen – Gutierrez 0 0-0 0, Perez 6 1-2 13, Schwertner 1 1-2 3, Gallegos 8 2-2 19, Jones 2 1-1 5, Freelon 1 0-0 2, Giacomin 1 0-0 3, Thomas 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 5-7 45.

3-pt. goals – Gallegos, Giacomin.
 
Boys

A lack of ball protection is haunting the Mustangs.

They stumbled through a 69-43 blowout loss on the road at Arapahoe in league.

Mullen has dropped five games in succession to fall to 5-10, 1-6.

“Turnovers, turnovers,” Mustangs head coach Bob Caton said. “We just give it up. We play defense (as opposed to offense) 75 percent of the time. It has been that way all year. We do not value the basketball.”

Despite its errors, Mullen was within 26-22 of the Warriors (7-9, 3-4) at halftime on a half-court heave at the buzzer by senior Josh Lopez. However, the Mustangs gave up the first 11 points of the third quarter and were outscored 26-6 over 8 minutes.

Lopez led Mullen with 18 points and Jordan Leslie added 14. Only four Mustangs scored.

With eight games to play, seven in the second go-round of the league, Mullen has work to do to get into the 5A postseason bracket.

“Here it is,” Caton said. “We know what we have to do to get better … we know what we have to do.”
 
ARAPAHOE 69, MULLEN 43

Mullen  8  14  6  15  --  43

Arapahoe  16  10  26  17  --  69

Mullen – J. Leslie 6 1-2 14, Lopez 6 1-2 18, Heffern 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, M. Leslie 4 0-0 8, Lay 0 0-0 0, Diasselliss 0 0-1 0, Roth 1 0-1 3, Castillo 0 0-0 0, Jerez 0 0-0 0, Brendle 0 0-0 0, Carlton 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 2-6 43.

3-pt. goals – Lopez 5, J. Leslie. Roth.
 
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