Midland Valley avenged a rare loss by beating White Knoll, 54-45, in a non region game.
The Mustangs lost to the Timberwolves on Dec. 12 as one of just two losses this season.
But Tuesday night, the defense was stingy for most of the action and Daniel Carr scored a game-high 21 points.
“Our guys wanted to beat these guys,” Mustangs coach Mark Snelgrove said. “We felt like we kind of gave away the first game, playing such a bad first half.”
Midland Valley (13-2) allowed only 12 field goals, including none in the first quarter. The defense forced turnovers, rebounded missed shots and didn’t allow many open looks.
Though the offense wasn’t efficient in stretches, the Mustangs had more than enough. After Tayler Wade hit the team’s first 3-pointer in the third period for a 33-23 lead, Midland Valley remained in control.
In the fourth quarter, as White Knoll continued to return to the free throw line with the Mustangs in foul trouble, Taijha Turner was there offensively. Turner scored nine of his 11 points in the last eight minutes to return a nine-point cushion for the Mustangs.
Earlier, both teams had to withstand a field-goal drought in the first half, though Midland Valley’s issues didn’t last as long.
With White Knoll held without a basket in the opening quarter, the Mustangs jumped to an early 10-2 lead that was quickly gone because of the work by Emarius Logan. The guard drove when he saw an opening, scoring 10 of the Timberwolves’ 15 points going into halftime.
But Midland Valley retook the lead, in part because of the work of Carr. The sophomore spun and scored in the lane, asserting himself as the go-to scorer when points were tough to find. He had 10 points in the first half as Midland Valley took a 22-15 lead.
“Daniel’s not a great shooter – he plays football and doesn’t get to work on it as much as guys who play basketball all the time – but he’s a scorer,” Snelgrove said. “He’s extremely quick, he’s low to the ground, basically, I don’t know any one person is going to stay in front of him. He’s pretty fearless. He wants the ball in crunch time.”