The Mustang basketball team came out of the holiday break with a solid performance against Clarke on Jan. 5. The Mustangs held off the Indians and played a solid game to secure a 65-52 win in South Central Conference play.

The Mustangs secured this win with a balanced scoring attack, which Coach Jamie Cason was happy to see. Noah Zmolek and Dalton Reeves led the effort. Reeves finished with 19 despite struggling at times with the Clarke defense. Zmolek finished with 15. Caedyn Glosser added 11 points. Ivan Garcia finished with seven and Alex Lynch finished with six.

As the Mustang point guard, Garcia isn’t afraid to drive into the lane and battle with opponents who have a lot more size on him. Lynch is finding his stroke from beyond the three-point line and that will help the Mustangs open up opposing defenses if he can find some consistency.

Davis County started slow in this game and fell behind the Indians 11-6 in the opening quarter. Clarke did bring some size to the court and started the game with more aggressiveness on both ends of the court. The Indians rolled to a 17-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Scores from Carson Zeitler and Carson Maeder put Davis County up 19-17 early in the second quarter, but shooting struggles hit the Mustangs. They struggled to find the basket for several minutes and the Indians took advantage of that. Clarke rolled past Davis County to take a 28-19 lead midway through the second quarter.

Lynch got the Mustangs back on track with one of his two three-point shots. That came with 3:16 left in the first half. It also sparked a 9-2 Davis County scoring run. Davis County did the job at the free-throw line and cut Clarke’s lead to 32-29 at the break.

 Halftime adjustments included a change in the intensity with the Mustang defense and their play overall. The boys came out with a renewed fire and played a strong third quarter. The Mustangs picked up a few turnovers and used those opportunities to score. Transition points and a faster-paced game also led to trips to the foul line. Reeves, Zmolek and Garcia paced Davis County with a 12-1 scoring run. Davis County led 41-33 with 4:09 left in the third.

Reeves and Zmolek continued to dominate the paint and increased the intensity of their play including their battles for rebounds on both ends of the court. The effort allowed Davis County to turn the tables on Clarke and gave Davis County a 46-39 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Mustangs continued to shut down the Clarke offense in the fourth quarter. Rebounding from Maeder, Zmolek and Reeves kept Clarke from getting more than one shot attempt during many trips down the court. Davis County also forced several Indian turnovers, which led to points.

Garcia, Glosser, Zmolek and Zeitler all found themselves in situations where they got behind the Clarke defense to score in transition. Because of that, the Mustangs expanded a seven-point lead to a 58-43 advantage with 3:23 left to play.

Clarke did cut into the Mustang lead in the final minutes, but the Mustangs continued to score from both the floor and the free-throw line to secure the 65-52 win.

“Great win for our team against a good Clarke squad. I thought we were very balanced in our attack offensively. Glosser was a huge positive for us with his perimeter play and salty defense. Noah did a great job finishing around the basket. I felt we did leave some empty possessions on the floor that were good looks. Dalton struggled at times but did a nice job getting to the free-throw line. Maeder quietly put together a solid game with some offensive boards and his defense. Our perimeter shooting continues to improve and it’s nice to see Alex start becoming more consistent. Overall, we are very pleased with how all of our kids really contributed together in securing the victory,” said Coach Jamie Cason.

Score by quarters

CL    15    32    39    52

DC    15    29    46    65

Scoring—Reeves, 19; Zmolek, 15; Glosser, 11; Garcia, 7; Lynch, 6; Carson Maeder, 4 and Carson Zeitler, 3.

Rebounds—Reeves, 8; Zmolek, 7; Maeder, 5; Glosser, 3; Lynch, 2 and Kaleb Martin, 1.

Assists—Garcia, 7; Lynch, 4; Glosser, 3 and Maeder, 2.

Steals—Zmolek, 3; Garcia, 2; Lynch, 1; Reeves, 1; Glosser, 1 and Maeder, 1.