The Mustang basketball team improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the South Central Conference following a dominating 64-35 win over Chariton on Jan. 8.

Davis County improved to 3-2 in conference play with the win and was tied with Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont for third place behind Knoxville and Albia in the conference standings. The conference season reached the midway point with last Friday night’s win over the Chargers.

Davis County looked solid as they put together one of the team’s best performances of the season. The Mustangs had nine players score in the game as Coach Jamie Cason was able to get some significant playing time for every player on his bench.

Davis County continues to be led by the post play from Noah Zmolek and Dalton Reeves. The Mustang forwards combined for 36 points and 10 rebounds. The Chargers just didn’t have a defensive answer to shut down either one of those boys.

Reeves and Zmolek dominated the paint scoring easily as they attacked a Chariton defense that just seemed about a step slow all night long. The Mustangs led by two points with five minutes left in the first quarter. A 12-2 scoring run by the Mustangs put them up 18-7 at the end of the first quarter. Davis County was in complete control of the game from that point on.

Defensively, Davis County choked the life out of the Chariton offense right from the start. The Chargers are historically a good shooting team, but last Friday night Chariton couldn’t buy a basket.

Add to that the fact that the Mustang defense had a hand in Chariton’s face all night long, the Chargers just didn’t have a chance. Davis County also had a dominating game on the board keeping Chariton from getting many second-chance scoring opportunities.

Chariton scored on just three, three-point shots in the second quarter. Davis County kept pounding the ball inside offensively and the scoring just kept coming. Davis County led 35-15 at the half in a game that was dominated by the Mustangs.

With the large lead, Coach Jamie Cason used the second half as an opportunity to get his players some significant playing time. Cason began platooning groups of players giving them three to four minutes of time on the court. Cason rotated players in and out frequently.

After scoring just one field goal in the first two minutes of the third quarter, Chariton did find ways to score on the Mustangs as the second half rolled on. Davis County managed to maintain its lead even with the constantly changing lineup on the floor. Nine different Mustang players scored in this game and everyone with a jersey number contributed to this victory in some way. Davis County led 51-24 going into the fourth quarter. The offensive production dropped off a little bit but Mustangs finished the night with a 29-point win and a strong-hold on the conference’s third-place position.

“It was a fun game for our team tonight. We were able to play all of our kids and they all made positive plays. I thought we did a great job against Chariton’s zone and we had a lot of balance offensively,” said Coach Jamie Cason. “Zmolek and Reeves continue to be a dominant one-two punch. Our guards also did great with defensive pressure which created several turnovers.”

Score by quarters

CH    5    15    24    35

DC    18    37    51    64

Scoring—Zmolek, 19; Reeves, 17; Alex Lynch, 7; Caedyn Glosser, 6; Carson Maeder, 4; Justin Matheny, 4; Jack Bigsby, 3; Tucker Marshall, 2; and Carson Zeitler, 2.

Rebounds—Zmolek, 7; Clayton Gilchrist, 5; Lynch, 3; Reeves, 3; Zeitler, 2; Aiden Ryan, 2; Marshall, 2 and Bigsby, 2.

Assists—Glosser, 4; Ivan Garcia, 4; Lynch, 3; Zmolek, 2; Bigsby, 2; Maeder, 1 and Matheny, 1.

Steals—Glosser, 6; Lynch, 3; Garcia, 2; Maeder, 1 and Reeves, 1.