Winners of four of their last five contests, Mountain Range basketball -despite a late scare from visiting Greeley West (4-10, 0-4 in conference) - came up large when they needed to win their 10th …
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Winners of four of their last five contests, Mountain Range basketball -despite a late scare from visiting Greeley West (4-10, 0-4 in conference) - came up large when they needed to win their 10th game in 14 tries Jan. 21.
After the Mustangs took a 4-point lead into the second quarter, senior guard Logan Dexter broke out with three, 3-pointers to help MR move their advantage to 29-20 going to the break. Despite 14 points from the veteran, GW made their adjustments at the half to make things interesting.
A 10-4 run for the visitors in the first four minutes and 23 seconds closed the gap to three in part to unnecessary live-ball turnovers by MR. However, the Mustangs retained a 40-38 lead going to the final frame, and the madness then began.
Scoring six unanswered to start the fourth, Mountain Range placed their lead back to eight before GW made their own run. Taking the next seven points, the Spartans reclaimed their first lead since 5-4 early in the opening quarter. And after exchanging blows, and ties at 49 and 51, MR - behind suffocating defense and smooth offense - rallied to dominate the final three minutes and 34 seconds to record the victory.
“I was very pleased with our poise and execution on both ends of the floor down the stretch of the game,” Mountain Range second-year coach Jordan Carter said after the game. “I believe we were down 51-49 midway through the fourth, and from that point went on a 16-2 run to end the game - which is a testament to our kids and their toughness. We stopped turning the ball over, took and made great shots, and began getting stops again as we had in the first half. I think the experience of playing so much together throughout the past two years has made us a more composed group, and it showed down the stretch when it was time to make winning plays. Very proud of our guys.”
Tallying the double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds, Dexter’s 28 is a new career-high leading the way for his squad. Calming his teammates and taking over when he had to, Dexter showcased an ability that was absent a season ago by coming up big over and over again last Tuesday.
“Logan had a big game for us when we really needed him to. Taking over both times, we struggled to score at crucial points in the game. He has been struggling a bit as of late, and he has faced a lot of focus from opposing defenses. The coaches and myself have been in his ear about being positive and confident, and it was great to see him step up and lead us as we’ve come to expect him to,” Carter said.
In his first season last year, Carter and his Mustang’s won just four games. With a new season and new energy surrounding this program, nine games remain as the gritty group looks to be in contention for the 5A Front Range Title.
“This (success) is all because of the kids. Their hard work, sacrifice, and willingness to be coached and buy-in has been a joy to work with. My staff has also been terrific in their work ethic, getting in the gym with the guys, and throwing in the countless hours that I’ve been asking of them. I’m extremely proud of our kids, and they deserve all of the credit.”
Junior Truman Chambers was the lone other to find double-figures behind Dexter in scoring with 11. Juniors Sirus Cannon and Connor Hindson recorded seven and six rebounds apiece.
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