Pete Logan
Special to The Gardner News
The Wheatridge Middle School 7th grade varsity girls’ basketball team ended the 2019 season on a high note last week, going 2-1 in their final three games of the season and taking 3rd at the Frontier League Post-Season Tournament.
Last week, the Varsity Mustangs traveled to Eudora for the opening round of the Frontier League Playoffs. In their two previous meetings, the Cardinals had handed WMS a 1-point loss and a 2-point loss in overtime, despite WMS outshooting Eudora 3- to-1 in both contests. The Mustangs were looking for a little payback. Wheatridge asserted their will early, jumping out to an 8-2 lead after one quarter. The Cardinals would eventually pull within two, but WMS pounded Eudora in the 3rd quarter and went into the 4th quarter up 19-10. The Mustangs used good clock management in the 4th quarter and cruised to a 21-17 victory. Wing Maileigh King paced Wheatridge with 11 points, followed by post Abby Callahan with 6, and point guard Emmy Holle and wing Addison McClure with 2 points each.
Thursday’s win pitted the 7th grade Varsity Mustangs against Number One seed Trail Ridge in the semi-finals. The Mustangs threw a scare into the top seed, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. WMS was within 3, trailing 12-9 in the 3rd quarter, but the Huskies long distance shooting eventually took its toll, and Wheatridge fell, 29-12. King again led the Mustang scorers with 6 points, Callahan added 3, Emmy Holle pitched in 2, and wing Liv Long had 1.
Then, the Mustangs were matched up with 2nd-seeded Baldwin in the 3rd place game. Again, WMS faced a foe who had beaten them in two close games earlier in the season — there was not to be a third defeat. After falling behind 6-2 early in the 1st quarter, Wheatridge ended the period on a 10-1 run and led 12-7. The Mustangs took a 4-point lead into halftime at 18-14, but allowed the Bulldogs to pull even at 20-20 in the 3rd before taking a 21-20 edge into the 4th quarter. A 3-point play from Callahan sparked the Mustangs to a 9-2 final frame, and Wheatridge earned 3rd place honors with a 30-22 victory. All 7 varsity players scored in the contest, led once again by King with 7 points. Long and post Addy Holle added 6 points each, Emmy Holle added 4, Callahan 3, and McClure and point guard Nikki Claycamp 2 each.
For the tournament, King recorded 24 points, while Callahan was the team’s other double-figure scorer with 12 points.