From start to finish, Mustang coach Katie Smith could see exactly what has propelled her team to four straight wins and a momentum stirring end to the regular season.
“Confidence,” she said. “It’s one of the biggest things we’ve been talking about. We came out right from the tip with tons of confidence and executed the gameplan defensively. I’m super proud of the way we played, especially against our rival.”
The Broncos – ranked eighth in the west – cruised past Canadian County rival Yukon in a 56-40 blowout. It was a revenge win after the Millerettes won the first matchup on Opening Night in November.
It was also the final home game for Mustang’s lone senior Lunden Foreman, who scored eight points with five rebounds and two assists. She drilled two three-pointers and came away with one steal.
“It was great to get a win, especially since they beat us the first game of the season,” Foreman said. “I’m just really proud of how we came out with a lot of energy and really crashed the boards.
“This winning streak has been big, and I think our confidence is sky high here at the end of the season. It’s really exciting to go into the playoffs with this kind of momentum.”
Foreman emerged as the lone member of the first class to play all four years for Smith. The 5-foot-6 sharpshooter holds a special place in her coach’s heart.
“She was my first class,” Smith said. “She is one of those kids that completely bought into the culture when I got here. We never have to coach her on energy or effort. She does what she can for the team and has set an example of what I want all of our players to be.”
Mustang (13-10) jumped out to a 32-17 lead in the first half and didn’t let up down the stretch. Parker Simonsen (Jr.) led all scorers with 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting. She went 3-for-4 from three-point range, grabbed three rebounds, and dished out three assists.
The Broncos dominated on the glass – a big key to the win.
They grabbed 41 boards while holding Yukon (14-8) to just 16. Christal Long (So.) recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Cherish Haywood (So.) grabbed eight boards while adding six points.
“Chrystal and Cherish were great and have been getting around 20-22 rebounds per game combined,” Smith said.
Mustang outscored Yukon 24-23 in the second half. The team shot over 43-percent from the field overall and went 6-for-19 from beyond the arc. The Broncos also turned the ball over just 13 times while assisting on 12 makes.
“Clean ball handling has also been one of our goals,” Smith said. “So, the way we were able to limit turnovers was exciting to see.”
Mya Alston (Fr.) also played well in the win, adding seven points with two rebounds. Riley Trammell (Jr.) and Tionna Johnson (So.) tallied two points apiece while combining for eight rebounds.
The Broncos now turn their sights to the first installment of the Class 6A playoffs with a regional opening matchup against Edmond Santa Fe (11-12) on Thursday night.
The two teams met on Dec. 2 – a 31-27 win for the Broncos at home. Smith, who graduated from Santa Fe after playing for her father, says her team will be playing with a chip on its shoulder.
“Win and advance,” she said. “That’s the attitude we’re going to have to have. We don’t have any girls that have egos or are concerned with stats, which makes it easier as a coach. I’m proud of the way they have battled and committed all season and now it’s time to make it pay off.”
The Broncos and Wolves tip off at 6 p.m. on Thursday. The game will be played at Edmond North High School.