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5 'Stangs on all-Centennial

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Freelon, Gallegos and Perez make all-league for girls; J. Leslie and Lopez named in boys.
Mullen earned a combined five players on the first- and second-team selections recently released by Centennial League boys and girls basketball.

After a 2021-22 campaign that returned to near normal after consecutive seasons affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Mustangs figured heavily in the usually powerful suburban group, particularly in girls that produced the Class 5A Colorado champion (Grandview), the 4A winners (Mullen), and a 5A semifinalist (Arapahoe).

The Mullen girls won their fourth consecutive championship (including the tie in 2020 with Holy Family) in turning in a 21-6 mark.

On the league’s first team, the Mustangs had Kilah Freelon and Gracie Gallegos.

Freelon, a 6-foot forward, averaged 12.2 points and 6.7 rebounds. The Texas Tech signee also had a rare female dunk in a game in December in the Horizon Tournament in Thornton. In addition to her jumping ability, Freelon’s speed and quickness are well above average.

Gallegos, a 6-1 guard, was a four-year starter as Mullen compiled a 78-23 record, and led the team in scoring at 14.8 points. A defensive stalwart, she regularly guarded the opposition’s best player. Gallegos will play at UC-San Diego.

Another senior, Imani Perez, earned a second-team spot. The 6-3 pivot also was a four-year starter and her defense was one of the program’s constants for four seasons – head coach Frank Cawley regularly insisted that his team could pass on zone defenses and play man-to-man because of Perez’s presence. In 2021-22, she averaged 7.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. For her career, the Hawaii-bound Perez had 762 rebounds.

For boys, Mullen was just 8-14 in the regular season before advancing to 5A’s Sweet 16 with consecutive upset victories as the No. 47 seed.

Mustangs guards Jordan Leslie and Josh Lopez were named to the Centennial’s second team.

Leslie, a 6-0 sophomore, was second on the team in scoring (11.4 points), and tops in team assists (3.5) and steals (2.1).

Lopez, a Mustangs regular for three seasons and 6-0 guard, led the team with 12.5 points. He also was first in Mullen 3-pointers (40) and made 79 percent of his free throws