A strong defensive effort and the hot hand of Parker Simonsen helped Mustang notch its first win of the season Friday night at the Event Center.
The Broncos (1-1) forced 16 turnovers and held Edmond Santa Fe (0-1) to less than four points in two separate periods on route to a 31-27 victory in their home opener.
Simonsen lifted the team offensively with a game-high 18 points, including four triples, a rebound, and an assist. She was also perfect from the charity stripe.
“She just has so much confidence right now,” Mustang coach Katie Smith said of the 5-foot-6 guard who went 4-for-8 from three-point range. “We’re definitely glad she knocked down those free throws and that three at the end.”
Nine of Simonsen’s points came in the fourth quarter. She nailed a three-pointer to open the period, extending the team’s lead to 21-15, and iced the win by going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes.
The junior guard’s performance made up for a cold shooting night by the Broncos. As a team, they went 8-for-34 from the floor and 5-for-19 from beyond the arc.
They did, however, knock down 10 of 13 free throws and out-rebounded the Wolves 22-16.
They also held Santa Fe to just one two-point make the entire game – a performance that reflects Smith’s core coaching style, but one she doesn’t want her team to currently rely upon.
“That’s what we always fall back on,” Smith said. “I’m a defensive coach, but over the last month or two we’ve tried to focus on the offensive end. Tonight we executed the offense and got open looks all night, we just didn’t put the ball in the hole.”
Annie Ferguson (So.) provided a third-quarter spark for the Broncos, who trailed 14-11 at halftime.
Annie Ferguson (So.) goes up for a shot during Mustang’s 31-27 win over Edmond Santa Fe on Friday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Mustang Event Center. Ferguson scored two points with two rebounds and a steal. (Photo by Shelly Holinsworth / Freelance Action Photography)
The 6-foot-2 forward scored on a putback after entering midway through the period, cutting Santa Fe’s lead to 14-13. She followed with a steal on the defensive end that led to a Simonsen three and a 16-14 Bronco lead.
“Annie doesn’t have any varsity experience, but she’s gotten stronger and we decided to try her,” Smith said. “She went in there and secured the middle.
“You never know when your time is up so when you get in the game you have to prove yourself. She did that tonight and I am proud of her.”
The Broncos outscored the Wolves 7-1 in the third quarter before holding on in the fourth.
“A win is a win, even if it’s ugly,” Smith said. “We needed a confidence boost after the loss to Yukon.”
Maya Alston (Fr.) scored four points while the team’s lone senior, Lunden Foreman, scored three points with three rebounds and an assist.
Ferguson, Cherish Haywood (So.), and JahMonica Johnson (Jr.) each tallied two points. Haywood added a team-high five rebounds while Johnson grabbed four.
The Broncos finished with six steals on the defensive end, led by two apiece from Johnson and Riley Trammell (Jr.). Haywood and Ferguson each finished with one takeaway.
Mustang hits the road this week to take on conference rival Norman (1-2) on Tuesday before traveling to Tulsa for the 2022 Bishop Kelley Tournament this weekend. The team’s next home game is Dec. 16 against Southmoore (0-1).