The PCM Mustangs (15-1, 12-1) outlasted Colfax Mingo (3-12) 60-46 on Tuesday Night. PCM was in control the entire way home. There were a few scary moments as the Tigerhawks threatened to make things interesting with rallies at the end of each half to pull things within single digits.
The Mustangs proved too deep for Colfax to keep pace, however. Leaning mostly on their guards to generate offense, the Mustang boys did not disappoint as seniors Ethan Kain and Nathan Vande Wall provided a boost with 19 and 14 points respectively with most of those points coming off turnover layups and open outside jumpers.
The story of the game for PCM was active hands. A possession rarely went by in either half that didn’t involve the Mustangs poking the ball loose. This led to turnovers, allowing the two guards to run out on the break. Easy buckets led to a big night for the Mustangs backcourt and ultimately an easy victory.
Mustang coach Fred Lorensen was pleased with the defensive effort he got out of his team.
“We try to get a lot of touches whether we’re playing man to man or our zone defense that we play every once in a while.” Lorensen said. “We’ve got some pretty quick kids, good jumpers, kind of long and that’s definitely something we stress.”
The Mustangs started out in a flurry. Senior Alex DeWitte powered home a layup through contact and sunk the free throw on the first possession. Active hands forced turnovers and easy buckets had PCM up 11-3 after one quarter.
Colfax charged back with two rallies in the second. When things looked bleak, they scored eight straight to pull within 23-14. Then following another strong finish from DeWitte, Colfax caught fire from deep, but a tip-in bucket at the buzzer by junior Dillon Bruxvoort gave PCM a 30-20 lead at half.
The second half started off exactly like the first. The boys forced turnovers and finished easy looks at the rim. A strong charge in the fourth quarter led by Colfax senior Vaughn Wilson made it a single digit game with five minutes left. It was too great a hill to climb for the Tigerhawks as things slipped out of their grasp and PCM rode home for the win.
Although Colfax’s record might make some people anticipate a blowout game from start to finish, this was the second time this year that Colfax has made a late charge to scare PCM enough to at least leave the starters on the floor for a few extra minutes at the end of the game.
“Well, they gave us trouble the first time. We had them down big at the half the first time, and it ended up a four or five point game.” Lorensen said. “They certainly got back in it. They’ve got a good combination of Wilson on the inside and some kids that can shoot from the perimeter to stretch you a little bit and make it tough defensively.
Despite what ended up being a fairly wide margin of victory for the Mustangs, Lorensen certainly sees room for his team to get better. He was not wholly satisfied with any aspect of their play.
“We need to get better at just about everything. We need to get so much better defensively and execute better on the offensive end.” Lorensen said. “We’re just doing things that we can’t afford to do later in the year.”
Whatever loose screws this team has, they will have an opportunity to tighten them up when they play at Collins-Maxwell-Baxter this Friday night.
PCM 60, Colfax-Mingo 46
C — 3 17 13 13 — 46
P — 11 19 18 12 — 60
C — Wilson 21, Hainer 12, Smith 6, Yoakum 6, Johnson 1
P — Kain 19, Vande Wall 14, Bruxvoort 10, DeWitte 7, Neff 5, Gilman 3, Ulenhopp 2