By Bryce McKinnis
Mustang girls won top-twenty matchups against Moore and Yukon on Friday and Saturday, respectively, by scores of 58-50 and 69-54.
The Broncos’ first win came on-the-road against the No. 8 Moore Lions and University of Texas-commit Aaliyah Moore.
“We had a really good game plan when it came defensively to defending Aaliyah Moore,” Mustang coach Katie Bass said. “She’s a phenomenal basketball player, and so defensively our goal was to trap and set charges.
“We fouled [Aaliyah Moore] out early in the third,” Bass said.
Four of Aaliyah Moore’s fouls were offensive charge calls.
“I feel like our girls really did own up to the game-plan for beating Moore,” Bass said. “It was a huge game for us.”
The Broncos (13-3) followed up their Friday-night success in an early Saturday game with No. 20 Yukon.
Bass said team depth was the most important aspect for Mustang in the quick turnaround.
“I could kinda tell. . . middle of the third, our legs were starting to show,” Bass said, “I could just tell they seemed really tired.”
The Broncos got out to a quick 20-5 lead, but the Millers equalized them through the remaining three-and-a-half quarters, even coming back to within six points early in the third quarter.
“My job as a coach is to get them to not get comfortable,” Bass said, “it’s like ‘no, no, no, we keep pressing forward.’
“We have to stay consistent,” Bass said.
Bass credited the versatility of Karley Johnson, an Arkansas-commit and newcomer onto Mustang’s roster this season.
“She can be a point guard, she can be a shooting guard, but we used her down-low,” Bass said. “She did what we needed to do, and she gave us what we needed, when we needed it.”
Johnson’s 16-point, seven-rebound, four-assist performance helped the Broncos to stay ahead of Yukon.
“I’m just proud of [Johnson] for owning her role, even though it may have been different than it’s been.”
The Broncos have games against No. 12 Norman North and No. 14 Edmond Memorial this week.
“This is the part of the season, I think, where it starts to wear on everybody, emotionally, too, not just physically,” Bass said. “And now, because of COVID, we have so many games in a short period of time.
“This is the part where I think we really need to dig deep to overcome the mental part of it,” Bass said.
Bass said the experience of playing both games in such a tight window may be beneficial long-term for the Broncos.
“It’s good, because when you go to state, you have to play back-to-back-to-back,” Bass said, “you play a good team, then a better team, then the best team.
“Playing these games back-to-back are more helpful for us,” Bass said.
The Broncos were home Tuesday against Norman North (after press time) and will host Classen SAS on Monday night.