RED OAK – A 16-4 third quarter was the difference as the Shenandoah Mustangs earned a 59-45 win at Red Oak, Tuesday, Jan. 14.
The Mustangs scored 10 of the final 13 points in the second quarter to lead 29-24 at halftime, and then dominated the third period.
Red Oak didn’t score for more than five minutes to start the third quarter and in that span the Mustangs extended the margin to 11. After a Red Oak basket, four different Mustangs made a field goal in less than 90 seconds to give the Mustangs a 17-point advantage. The teams scored one more basket each in the final minute for a 45-28 score after three quarters.
“We came out and got to the rim,” Shenandoah coach Derek Howard said after the game. “We were taking good shots and making open shots. More importantly we were getting stops on defense and rebounding.”
A 5-0 spurt in the middle stages of the fourth quarter brought the Tigers to within 12, but the Mustangs extended the lead back out to 16 at the free throw line in the final two minutes.
Kyle Cerven scored 21 points on 14 field goal attempts to lead the Mustangs offensively. Anthony Stogdill added 11 points while Braden Knight scored 10. The three other Mustangs that played: Conner Birt, Blake Herold and Brody Owen, all scored five or six points.
The Mustangs rebounded well with three players nearly earning double digit boards. Birt and Cerven led the team with nine each and Knight added eight.
Birt also contributed five assists and has been doing a great job as the Mustang point guard all season.
“Conner is probably our best knowledgeable defender,” Howard said. “He knows what to do and where to be. “Offensively, he has the ball in his hands a lot and leads us in assists. He was pretty vocal (Tuesday) and he’s a good one to have on our side.”
Outside shooting kept Red Oak close in the first half with Baylor Bergren making four of the five Tiger triples before halftime. Howard said other than being late to the outside shooters, the defensive effort was solid.
“We have been playing almost strictly a 2-3 zone,” said Howard, “and we were a little lazy getting to the shooters in the first half. Red Oak is one of the teams that we can match up with size-wise, so we went with it and played pretty well.”
Bergren’s 18 points led the Tigers, who fell to 3-9 overall and have lost six consecutive games.
Shenandoah improved to 3-9 on the season. Tuesday’s game didn’t count in the Hawkeye 10 Conference standings. Next for the Mustangs is a trip to Clarinda, Friday, Jan. 17.