The Mustang Broncos claimed a much-needed confidence boost and a highlight win for the team’s eight seniors in their final home game on Friday night.
And of course, it’s always nice when the rival Yukon Millers serve it up.
The Broncos cruised to a 77-57 blowout victory, led by 26 points from Roman Miller (So.) and 22 from Jacobe Johnson (Sr.). It was the team’s second win over the Millers this season and it ended a rough seven-game losing streak that dated back to Jan. 27.
“We certainly needed it,” Mustang coach Scott Hodges said. “We haven’t played well the last couple of weeks and lost some close ones, so we just needed to see the ball go into the hole. And it’s always fun to beat Yukon. It was a good way to end the regular season.”
Mustang shot over 48-percent from the field, going 28-for-58 overall and 8-for-21 from three-point range. The Broncos also dominated the glass, outrebounding Yukon 34-26. They also turned the ball over just 11 times and forced 17 giveaways.
Miller shot almost 70-percent (11-for-16) from the floor while grabbing a game-high eight rebounds. He also dished out four assists and blocked two shots.
Johnson went 7-for-15, including 4-for-8 from beyond the arc, and grabbed two boards. Keegan Bass (Sr.) scored five points with four rebounds and four dimes.
Hodges said the last seven games were obviously not fun, but that he was proud of the way his team battled through adversity. He sees the life lessons a stretch like that can teach.
“I’m proud of them,” he said. “They continued to compete and continued to have good attitudes and worked hard. It would have been easy to shut down, but they kept grinding.
“You go through a lot of adversity in life, and you have to battle your way out in those situations too. It teaches you mental toughness for sure, but now it’s in the past.”
All eight of the team’s seniors played over five minutes. The group was honored before the game.
Dirk Johnson grabbed five rebounds, including two on the offensive end. Bryson Sharp dished out two assists with one board, Thai Bond scored two points with four rebounds, Mason Howell scored two points, Cade Christy scored three points with two boards, and Austin Bowling scored two points with one rebound.
“They’re a great group of guys,” Hodges said. “My first year was their freshman year and all of them have served roles for the program in different ways. We never have any trouble with them, and they work hard. And I think it says a lot about our culture that we have so many seniors.”
The Broncos now turn their focus to the Edmond Memorial Bulldogs (12-10), who finished the season ranked eighth in the West. The Broncos finished the season ranked ninth.
The two teams will face off on Friday night in a win-or-go-home regional tournament opener. The winner advances to the regional title game and locks up a spot in the area tournament.
“They’re a team that runs their system really well,” said Hodges, whose squad lost the only regular season matchup with Memorial 52-34. “We didn’t have much time to game plan for them the first time and this time we feel like we’ll be a lot more prepared. We feel like we have a good plan in place.”
Mustang and Edmond Memorial are scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. on Friday at Edmond North High School.