The Ennis Mustangs played stifling defense to disrupt the the Sheridan Panthers’ game plan and chalked up a 70-42 home-court victory on Dec. 19.
“(Ennis) plugs up the lanes really well and makes you shoot jumpers instead of finishing through,” said Sheridan head coach Clay Pierson.
Led by senior Chris Funston, who worked the three-point line, the Mustangs took an early lead and never looked back. Defense set the teams apart as the Mustangs pushed hard to grab rebounds and force the ball to the basket.
“We did really well on our 1-3-1 and 2-3 defense, when we played it,” said Mustang coach Jared Smithson. “I’ve still got to stop them from reaching in and get them stepping in front of the player – that’s our weakness.”
Working a tough defense, the Mustangs forced the Panthers to shoot outside the paint. “Shooting, just getting shots in,” said Pierson about the Panther’s goal for the rest of the season.
However, Pierson said the team’s effort during the second half was where it needed to be – something the Mustangs took notice of.
“I really liked Sheridan’s effort,” said Smithson. “There was no quit in those kids and they were going 100 mph out there.”
Funston led the Mustangs with 26 points, followed by Tanner Wood, who sank 15 points. Dillion Williams put up 12 points, Gus Dickinson, six, and Clay Coffman finished with five points. Kyle Lohrenz, Kurt Funston and John Fortier each had two points.
Ty Haag led the Panthers with 14 points, Moxon Lee close behind with 13. Cade McParland and Isaac Bendon each had six and Ben Larsen finished with three.
The Mustangs first game of 2018 is slated for Jan. 5 against Granite. The Panthers also play on Jan. 5 at Gardiner.