By Will Johnson
HUDSON – The Slocum Mustangs used a strong, third quarter surge to power past the Chester Yellow Jackets on Tuesday, Feb. 21 by a score of 71-44, captured the Bi-District Championship and moved to the Area Round of the playoffs.
The game opened with the Mustangs racing out to a 19-10 first quarter lead using an inside, outside style of play. Jacob Lane sandwiched a 3-pointer between a pair of two point baskets for seven while Taylor Hunt knocked down a three and a two for five first quarter points. Travis Neal converted three of three from the charity stripe as Keet Cockerham and Alex Maldonado both added two round out the Slocum first quarter scoring.
Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets’ scoring came from Cord Neal with all 10 of Chester’s first quarter points.
Chester seemed to find their offensive rhythm in the second period of play as they dropped in 17 points on 10 from Neal, three from Colten Martin and two apiece from both Dane Barnes and Seth Read.
Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets’ defense tightened up and held the Mustangs to seven points in the quarter. Maldonado and Neal bot hit 3-pointers while Cockerham made one of two from the line.
With the halftime score 27-26 in favor of Chester, the Mustangs came out of the locker room after the break on fire. Slocum dropped 30 points on the Yellow Jackets, held them to six and opened up a 23 point lead by the end of the third quarter.
Maldonado hit a trio of 3-pointers and Cockerham scored six from inside. Tate Cleveland made a three to go along with a two pointer and joined Hunt with five points in the third. Neal hit a shot from behind the arc and Lane closed out the Mustangs’ third quarter scoring with a two.
Barnes, Martin and Neal all had two for Chester as the Yellow Jackets found themselves trailing by a score 56-23 with eight minutes remaining in the game.
Slocum continued to pull away from Chester as the fourth quarter began. Lane went for five in the quarter while Neal had four and Maldonado had three. Hunt dropped in two and Cockerham chipped in one.
Try as they might, the Yellow Jackets simply could not make a dent in the Mustangs lead. Ne
al had four and Jaqualin George scored three while both Barnes and Martin had two apiece as the Mustangs won the game by a score 71-44.
Chester was led in scoring Cord Neal with 24 points and Colten Martin with seven. Dane Barnes had six, Seth Read netted four and Jaqualin George had three to round out the Yellow Jackets’ point production.
Slocum was paced by five players who scored in double figures. Alex Maldonado led the way with 17 points while Jacob Lane had 14. Travis Neal dropped in 13, Taylor Hunt had 12 and Keet Cockerham powered his way to 10. Tate Cleveland added five to close out the Mustangs’ scoring and help send them on to the Area Round of the playoffs.
PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE LIMERICK
Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.