By SHAWN YORKS
• Leader & Times
KISMET — The mark of a good team is finding a way to win, even when the shots don’t seem to be falling. That’s what the Southwestern Heights Lady Mustangs did on Friday night, pulling out a 42-35 win over Sublette.
Sublette dictated the pace of the game, slowing things down and not allowing the Lady Mustangs (7-1) as many opportunities to score. And when those opportunities did present themselves, sometimes things didn’t quite go SWH’s way.
“We had things we were trying to do, and we panicked a couple of times on shooting, instead of just taking our time and just taking our regular approach that we do in practice,” Lady Mustangs coach Barry Mellen said. “We just get too nervous with the ball right now. We just have to relax and have some fun.”
Southwestern Heights opened with a 5-1 lead on field goals by Rebi Jacobs and Rachel Stout and a free throw by Chloe Coats. Then went through a cold spell, not scoring in a 3-1/2 minute span in which Sublettecut it to 5-4.
A shot by Coats ended the dry spell, and the Lady Mustangs pulled out to a 14-8 lead at the end of the first period.
SWH increased that advantage to 28-17 at halftime. Part of the problem was Sublette’s free throw shooting. The Lady Larks went 3-for-7 from the line in the second period alone and missed two of four to open the third period.
But that’s when Sublette made a move as the Lady Mustangs went cold. SWH didn’t score a point until 2:51 of the third quarter, and in the meantime, Sublette went on an 11-0 run to tie it.
“Defensively, we’ve got so much to work on,” Mellen said. “It seems like we’re a little bit behind on every pass. You can’t do that. We’ve got to beat them across.”
Sheree Ryan broke the drought and gave the Lady Mustangs the lead back, and a Sublette turnover led to a Heidi Brown hoop and Southwestern Heights was up 32-28 entering the final frame.
Ryan hit a field goal and two free throws and Stout scored a basket to put SWH up 38-30 early in the fourth.
Free throws again hurt the Lady Larks, as they went 5-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final three minutes. SWH was 4-for-6 in the same stretch.
“We’re missing good shots and we’re not getting as many second shots as what we should,” Mellen said. “We’re getting ourselves in foul trouble when we shouldn’t
The Lady Mustangs are still without Deni Jacobs, who broke her leg during the sub-state volleyball finals. Mellen expects her to be cleared by the end of January.
“She’ll be able to get into it in February and that’s the whole key is getting her back,” Mellen said. We’ve got players that can step up, they’ve just got to do it.”
Brown led SWH with 13 points, Ryan and Stout each added 8, Coats 5, Jacobs 4, Whitney Garinger and Marissa Angell two apiece.
Anna Messerly scored 17 to lead Sublette, Emily Meyer added 6, Haley Miller 5, Daryan Whaler 4, Hannah Meyer 2 and Gentry Hibbard 1.